CHARLOTTE CORNFIELD ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM HIGHS IN THE MINUSES
SHARES LEAD SINGLE / VIDEO “HEADLINES”
ALBUM OUT OCTOBER 29TH, 2021 VIA POLYVINYL / DOUBLE DOUBLE WHAMMY
Charlotte Cornfield today announces her new album Highs in the Minuses will be released on October 29th, 2021, via Polyvinyl (Squirrel Flower, Oceanator, Xiu Xiu) / Double Double Whammy (Hovvdy, Great Grandpa, Lomelda) — the first-ever co-release for both labels.
The Toronto, ON-based artist has also shared the first single from the album: “Headlines,” a driving track with an earworm chorus that belies the anxiety permeating its lyrics. Here we find Cornfield doom-scrolling in a small room, spinning her wheels in a state of helplessness. “Skimming headlines/Walking slowly/Circling around,” she repeats four times in the song’s chorus, a device that hooks the listener while emphasising the cyclical, maddening nature of anxiety.
Of the song’s accompanying video, Cornfield explains: “I wanted to express the joy of seeing people, of those little interactions that happen throughout the day that I missed so much in the last year and a half. When I wrote this song I was spending so much time walking alone through my neighbourhood, and I wanted the video to take place on the same streetscape but be the antidote to that solitude. To me the city is so much about the people in it. Adrienne McLaren Devenyi, the director, came up with this arc of me exchanging objects with people as I move through the neighbourhood and that just created a beautiful jumping off point for these interactions. We had so much fun making this video, and it was such a gift to see everybody.”
After spending much of 2020 with her thoughts and instruments, Cornfield knew it was time to take her new songs out of the house. She’d spent months writing a suite of evocative, autobiographical story-songs in near-solitude, and was ready for the immediate, regenerative experience of a band playing live in the studio. But this wasn’t mere pandemic-related longing. It was instead a long-simmering desire.
The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist’s 2019 album The Shape of Your Name — which received widespread praise, including being long-listed for the coveted Polaris Music Prize — was a slow solo endeavor, written alone and meticulously recorded in fits and starts over the span of a few years, and she’d even played most of its instruments. For Highs in the Minuses, Cornfield knew she needed a cast that was representative of her journey through the DIY scene of Toronto and the music program at Montreal’s Concordia University, those friends and colleagues who’ve helped her become the incisive, witty, and generous writer and player she is.
Though the songs of Highs in the Minuses are highly personal, Cornfield wanted their sonic quality to convey the communal, aleatoric energy of live performance. With this in mind, she and the band allowed their psychic connection to convey the emotional interconnectedness that comes with stories of heartbreak, self-discovery, and new love. Cornfield (guitar, piano, vocals), bassist Alexandra Levy (Ada Lea) and drummer Liam O’Neill (Suuns) convened in Montreal at the studio of Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen), whom Cornfield had originally met through a musician’s residency he founded at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. In just five days, with minimal takes and overdubs—and with contributions from guitarist Sam Gleason (Tim Baker) and Stars singer Amy Millan—they set Cornfield’s vivid mini-memoirs to an earthen folk-rock symphony.
Throughout Highs in the Minuses, it’s tempting to think of Cornfield as a narrator, given the autobiographical nature of many of the songs, but this framing discounts her deep consideration of the listener. She’s not broadcasting absolute truths but rather inviting us to feel alongside her, to acknowledge the raw, shambolic commonality found in individual experiences. Like David Berman and John Prine, Cornfield’s lyrics ring with precision — a rhythmic, poetic clarity that may devastate the heart or tickle the ribs in a simple turn of phrase.
Read Charlotte Cornfield’s full bio/download photos and cover artwork HERE.
5. Black Tattoo
6. Blame Myself
7. Out of the Country
8. Drunk for You
9. Partner in Crime
10. Modern Medicine
11. Destroy Me