Set for release on At The Helm Records on November 10, 2017, Daybreak Over Jackson Street is the keenly-anticipated second album from Steph Cameron and the first to see a formal release outside of Steph’s native Canada.
1. Daybreak Over Jackson Street
2. Young And Living Free
3. That's What Love Is
4. On My Mind
7. Little Blue Bird
8. You Ought To Know By Now
10. Sing For Me
11. Peace Is Hard To Find
The Saskatoon-based roots singer/songwriter arrived on the scene like a bracing gust of fresh musical air with her 2014 debut record Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady receiving unanimously enthusiastic reviews.
“This is a monumental, brilliant album… heralds the crowning of a bright new talent,” declared Pop Matters in calling it the #1 Canadian album of 2014. No Depression termed it “a stunning debut,” while Exclaim! noted that “Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady delights from start to finish. Steph Cameron is the real deal.” The record also made the 2015 Polaris Prize longlist.
If the debut felt as if it emerged fully-formed from the bohemian streets of Greenwich Village circa 1963, then the extra maturity of Daybreak gives it more of an early ‘70s Laurel or Topanga Canyon atmosphere.
Like her debut, the album was recorded at elite Toronto studio Revolution Recording with producer Joe Dunphy. It retains the sparse template of her first record – one voice, one guitar, both recorded in intimate fashion and to tape.
Cameron explains there was one change in the recording process this time around. “I asked that we move into a smaller room at Revolution. Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady was recorded in a very large room, where the sound could develop for miles.”
“In the smaller room I had a stronger presence. The idea was to create a record that sounds as though the songwriter is in the room with the listener. We created a very warm, intimate record that does justice to the truly personal stories captured by these songs.”
The result is a collection of songs that showcase Steph’s storytelling songwriting style, one that works in perfect tandem with the sparse production style chosen. The themes they explore of love, loss and finding joy when times are rough are universal. What truly rings clear is the authenticity of the human experience that the characters she sings about have been through.
Cameron views songwriting in almost mystical terms. “As a writer I’ve always felt that the song exists somewhere outside of myself and I am just a conduit. I get glimpses of it here and there, until eventually the song reveals itself to me. From there I can just reach up and pull it down.”
Cameron’s evocative voice and perceptive lyrics continue to captivate, as does her evolving yet still fluent acoustic guitar work. “I continue to work at the tradition of folk, but old country sounds, particularly guitar, are prominent in this record.” she analyses. “I feel like my musical influences, artists like John Prine, have really come through here, both in the story-telling and the way my guitar is played.”
Cameron is now fully committed to following music wherever it may lead. “Music has given me some structure in my life,” she explains. “This is a new challenge, with many accomplishments already.”
There is daybreak over Steph Cameron’s musical career, and a bright and shining future surely lies ahead. Stay tuned.