Ask any artist why they make music and chances are they’ll say that, at least in part, it’s a form of therapy. That was definitely true for Darcy Windover as he made his latest album whose title, Cope, pretty much says it all.
For the Toronto-based singer/songwriter originally from Sarnia, Ontario, the new 10-song collection is the summation of a difficult period, encapsulated in the album’s first single “How To Be Lonely.” Sales of the song are being donated to Cam’s Kids, which offers support to youth struggling with anxiety.
PURCHASE “HOW TO BE LONELY” HERE
Windover had previously entered the song in the 2017 edition of CBC’s Searchlight contest where it was named a regional finalist. That momentum helped Windover complete Cope a year later with producer John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, NQ Arbuckle) and his trusted band, including co-writer and duet partner Stacey Dowswell. Together, they built on the foundation of “How To Be Lonely” with songs that look at the causes and effects of mental illness from various perspectives.
“That song was written a few weeks after my mother was moved into a nursing home in Toronto,” Windover explains. “Having spent most of her life in Sarnia, and in spite of being closer to her sons, she said, ‘Well, I guess this is how to be lonely.’ That phrase stuck with me and the song wrote itself in about five minutes. The intention was to capture the feeling of someone who is feeling overwhelmed, mentally fragile and alone.”
But what perhaps is most impressive about Cope is its immediate sonic appeal, particularly for anyone who appreciates classic Ryan Adams and Tom Petty records. As a songwriter, Windover is cut from the same cloth, emphasizing melody, hooks and atmosphere above all else, with a little twang for good measure. Sure, melancholy is unavoidable, but never as a distraction from pure songwriting craftsmanship. With a wealth of experience embedded in it, Cope marks the formal arrival of a major voice within the Canadian roots rock scene.