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Friday, May 17, 2024

Sam Wilson goes bi-coastal with Wintertides

The guitarist and composer's newest album explores the contrast between the intensity of winter in her home province of Nova Scotia and the comparatively balmier winters of British Columbia.

Exploring the contrast between the intensity of winter in her home province of Nova Scotia and the comparatively balmier winters of British Columbia, Halifax-based guitarist and composer Sam Wilson has released her latest album, Wintertides. Released on April 5, the album is now available for digital download, CD, and vinyl.

This album feels authentic to me, and I wanted to share that authenticity through physical media. – Sam Wilson

The album traces its origins back to Wilson’s time spent in Nova Scotia during the winter months at the tail end of the pandemic. “The title was the first thing that came to my mind for this project,” she says. “I was away from musicians and jamming, trying to motivate myself to continue my artistic practice and find inspiration.”

Wilson drew from the winter landscapes during her outdoor excursions as a springboard for the album. “I forced myself to go outside and improvise based on these images,” she says. “A project is a good motivator to push through a plateau or a rut.”

Writing on both coasts, Wilson found that the two distinct geographic locations had a direct bearing on her artistic expression. “Our environment influences what we’re creating,” she says. “If you listen to jazz from New York versus Toronto versus Vancouver versus Halifax, it will be different.”

Wilson also took a different approach to writing music for Wintertides. “I normally write on the piano, but for this album, I brought out a classical guitar,” she says. “It resulted in some different sounds and fresh ideas compared to what I had previously done.”

Sam Wilson's Wintertides is now available digitally, CD and vinyl.
Sam Wilson’s Wintertides is now available digitally, on CD and vinyl.

Wintertides’ bi-coastal content features Vancouver-based Geordie Hart on upright bass and drummer Jen Yakamovich. However, Wilson acknowledged that not all compositions made the final cut. “There were some that I didn’t finish and tossed out. Two songs ended up on both this album and my duo project [New Doors], showcasing the fluidity of creative expression,” she says.

When asked about her favourite track on the album, Wilson highlighted the title track, Wintertides, describing it as a spontaneous creation that unfolded in the studio. “That one’s my favourite because it was created in the moment, with each musician adding their own improvisational elements,” she says.

The decision to release Wintertides on vinyl and CD stemmed from Wilson’s desire to provide tangible experiences for her audience. “I’ve always wanted to hold my music on a vinyl record. This album feels authentic to me, and I wanted to share that authenticity through physical media,” she says.

Looking ahead, Wilson plans to embark on a tour promoting the album and will explore a historic snapshot of women guitarists on April 25 as part of the Halifax Jazz Festival’s Jazz Appreciation Month activities. Wilson will also begin work on solo compositions for an upcoming guitar festival in 2025.

Wintertides is available now on Bandcamp. You can find out more about Wilson’s music online at samwilsonmusiq.com.

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