Swedish-Canadian alt.folk singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall and ascendant Canadiana singer-songwriter Ben Kunder have announced plans to tour Ireland and the UK together from November 19th to December 3rd. To celebrate their tour, they have released a video for their first co-write and currently unreleased song ‘Better Days’ which we have the pleasure of sharing with you.
Ben shared this about the joint-tour and song:
“I had been looking for someone to collaborate with for a long time before I was introduced to Sarah MacDougall. We happen to share an incredible bass player, Anna Ruddick, who brought Sarah out to one of my shows in Toronto. I listened to her music after the show and reached out asking if she wanted to try writing some songs together and maybe doing some touring. We’re both very busy people, Sarah’s on the road all the time and I’m touring and have a one-year-old at home. I had an idea for a song and sent her a verse and chorus via email while she was on tour in the States and she wrote me a verse back. We wrote this whole song by email and had never even sang together until we met to rehearse for our first co-headlining tour back in the Spring. That song became ‘Better Days’. We’re still collaborating and touring together and I can’t wait to share our music on this European tour. It’ll be my first, hopefully not my last!
Better Days is about the struggles and triumphs that come with being an artist, or any person that feels they’re meant to be doing what they’re doing, and how we deal with love and self-worth while constantly moving and changing and becoming.”
Canada-based, Swedish-born singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall is justifiably recognized for her honest poetic songs, passionate performances and distinctive voice.
Garnering increasingly widespread international acclaim, Sarah MacDougall, a Western Canadian Music Award-winning artist (Roots Solo Recording of the Year 2012 for The Greatest Ones Alive), was described by Rootstime in Belgium as “one of the greatest talents of this era”, and by Swedish magazine Nöjesguiden as “One of Sweden’s best singer/songwriters”.
Since the release of the award-winning The Greatest Ones Alive in 2011, Sarah has toured Canada and Europe extensively, while stealing as much time as possible between tours to write and demo new material. Last winter, she hunkered down under the Northern Lights in Whitehorse and put the final touches to her latest opus, the sonically rich album Grand Canyon.
Co-produced by Sarah and Caleb Stull (Field Study), Grand Canyon steps further beyond her previous folk and roots influences, flirting with sounds more reminiscent of The Postal Service or Kate Bush, and while Grand Canyon retains Sarah’s acoustic guitar, this time around she’s infused the arrangements with heavier drums, richly textured strings, synthesizers, and keyboards.
The songs are about identity, love, fear, hope, growing up, rootlessness and forgiveness. They are written from the point of view of the hopeful outsider, trying to figure out their place and make sense of the world. Grand Canyon finds Sarah challenging herself and pushing new boundaries, musically and sonically, and with the album having earned another WCMA nomination the future looks destined to gain Sarah even further recognition.
Part-time carpenter and sometime actor, Canadian singer-songwriter Ben Kunder has spent years honing his craft to become a full-time musician, venturing closer to making this a reality with the release of his debut solo LP Golden. With his powerful voice at its heart, Ben imbues his nine stunning original songs with indelible melodies, delivering an album of lush, expansive Canadiana.
Ben has been writing and producing his music independently for over seven years and following a chance meeting with John Dinsmore (NQ Arbuckle), the pair hunkered down to co-produce Golden, with a number of Canada’s finest musicians joining Ben for the album, including Brian Murphy (Alvvays) on guitar/piano/Wurlitzer, Rich Knox (Dustin Bentall, Danko Jones) on drums/vocals, Anna Ruddick (Ladies of the Canyon) on bass/vocals, and Aaron Goldstein (Cowboy Junkies, Daniel Romano) on pedal steel.
Ben has lived all across the beautiful country of Canada, from his solar powered cabin on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, where he spent his days chopping wood and chasing deer from the garden to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, working at the Confederation Centre for the Arts, and now Ben is back to where he started his journey, in his hometown of Toronto.
Sarah MacDougall & Ben Kunder Ireland & UK Tour
Sat 19 – Roscommon – J.J. Harlow’s
Sun 20 – Ballydehob, Co. Cork – Levis Corner House
Wed 23 – Glasgow – Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club
Thu 24 – Derby – The Maypole Theatre
Fri 25 – Edinburgh – The Bluebird Cafe
Sat 26 – York – House Concerts York SOLD OUT
Sun 27 – Clare, Suffolk – The Cock Inn
Mon 28 – Norwich – The Bicycle Shop
Tue 29 – Bedford – 44 Harpur Street
Wed 30 – London – Green Note
Thu 1 Colyford, Devon The Wheelwright Inn
Sat 3 Tegryn, Pembrokeshire Canolfan Clydau