Bet Smith's new EP, Loose Ends is a collection of songs from the shadowy pages of her notebook. Having rarely made it onto stages or set lists, these five songs have found a home on this stirring, poignant and carefully crafted assemblage, created in collaboration with The Currie Brothers in Gravenhurst, Ontario.
Sonically gripping and beautifully phrased lyrically as well as instrumentally, the songs that make up Loose Ends are rich in environmental imagery, and reflect on both the fragilities and strengths of nature and human beings as animals within it. Hardships and missteps of a rural youth, reflections on a back-to-the-land lifestyle, loneliness, acceptance and feminine realities are strong themes represented within the work - songs composed of fragmented personal memories mixed with observances and invention.
Produced and engineered by Rob Currie, Loose Ends was recorded in a dimly lit, cozy studio tucked away in the Currie brothers' vintage music store. An unexpected chemistry between Bet and new acquaintances Rob and Andrew became apparent from project start, grew stronger over the course of the recording process and is evident throughout the EP. Bet's lyrically rich folk songs are underlined by weighty layers of both dreamlike and driving instrumentation put in place by the Currie Brothers as well as Bet, with contributions by Johnny Fay, (The Tragically Hip) Bronwyn Smith, (Bet's little sister) and visiting friends. Bet's honest, oaky voice is captured and complimented artfully by the tracking arranged by Rob in his debut as a producer.
Bet Smith, (Ashlea-Elizabeth Smith) was born in Toronto and raised in Bracebridge, Ontario. After ten years of taking the road less travelled, Bet considers this album a reflection of a newly-found grownup voice.
Loose Ends came to exist after a two-year hiatus from music as Bet's life turned upside-down and right side up again. Previously, Bet had recorded and toured throughout Canada as a duo billed as Ashlea Jonesmith and Oliver Wives. The duo released a full-length album and an EP, and performed festivals such as the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival and Islands Folk Festival. Bet's introduction to the folk music scene was at the age of fifteen when she debuted on a small stage at Mariposa Folk Festival.
By day Bet works as a welder, builder and craftsperson between Toronto and Muskoka. Having recently returned to Ontario after living off-grid on Denman Island for three years, Bet is passionate about wilderness preservation, low-impact living, small farms and the local food movement. With education in the art of blacksmithing, Bet's long term dream is to live a sustainable lifestyle as an artist blacksmith and farmer. In the meantime, she says "ideas about touring in support of sustainable agriculture are brewing in my soul."
released April 22, 2015
PRODUCED AND ENGINEERED BY ROB CURRIE
RECORDED AND MIXED AT CURRIE’S MUSIC IN GRAVENHURST, ONTARIO, CANADA
MASTERED BY JOAO CARVALHO AT JOAO CARVALHO MASTERING IN TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
ALL SONGS WRITTEN BY BET SMITH (Ashlea-Elizabeth Smith, SOCAN/ASCAP)
BET SMITH - VOCALS, ACOUSTIC GUITAR, BANJO, (Lone Wolf) XYLOPHONE, (Loose Ends) TYPING, (Dynamite) CLAPPING, (Talisman)
ANDREW CURRIE - DRUMS, BASS, (Dynamite) UPRIGHT BASS, (Loose Ends) DOBRO, (Lone Wolf) ORGAN, (Talisman, Dynamite) GLOCKENSPIEL, (Dynamite) CLAPPING, (Talisman) WOODEN STOOL LEGS, (Hostility) IDEAS
ROB CURRIE - ELECTRIC GUITAR, BASS,(Loose Ends, Talisman, Signs of Hostility) CLAPPING, (Talisman) IDEAS
JOHNNY FAY - AFRICAN BELL and TENOR TOM, (Loose Ends) IDEAS
BRONWYN SMITH - TAMBOURINE and CLAPPING (Talisman)
ADDITIONAL HAND-CLAPPING FOR TALISMAN BY: ALISSA AHSOME, JOHNNY AHSOME, JAMES SEVAZLIAN, LUKE THOMPSON
THANKS FROM BET
BARB LEEK - YOU WERE THE SPARK THAT STARTED THIS WONDERFUL FIRE. THANK YOU FOR CONNECTING ME TO THE CURRIE BROS. ALL OF OUR LIVES CHANGED FOR THE BETTER BECAUSE I RAN INTO YOU ON A DOG WALK. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THAT DAY.
ROB AND ANDREW CURRIE - I LOVE YOU, AND I AM IN AWE OF YOUR TALENTS AND GENEROSITY. I AM SO TEMPTED TO GET YOUR NAMES TATTOOED ON MY SKIN FOR EVER AND EVER. THERE AREN’T ENOUGH WORDS TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH YOUR HARD WORK MEANS TO ME.
JOHNNY FAY - THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT. YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION MEANT THE WORLD TO US.
MUM AND DAD - FOR SUPPORTING ME THROUGHOUT MY CRAZY, ARTIST/HIPPY LIFE AND MAKING THIS PROJECT POSSIBLE BY PUTTING A ROOF OVER MY HEAD LAST YEAR AND LEAVING THE PORCH LIGHT ON.
LORI LOU HIRST - FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE THROUGH THE TWISTED LABYRINTH THAT IS OUR CURRENT MUSIC INDUSTRY. I AM PERPETUALLY LOST AND YOU ARE A LIGHTHOUSE. AND AN AMAZING FRIEND.
TO ALL MY CLAPPING CONTRIBUTORS. THANKS FOR THE SOUND BITES AND THE GOOD LAUGHS.
TO JOAO, BRYAN AND SAGE AT JOAO CARVALHO MASTERING - THANKS FOR THE FABULOUS EXPERIENCE AND POLISHING.
TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS, AND THOSE OF THE CURRIE BROS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
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