Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Lawrence Curry has released his debut LP I Sail To Thee, out now. Curry’s full-body voice and well-seasoned guitar skills carry through his album, but the masterwork of it all is his storytelling ability–undoubtedly an ode to his Celtic roots.
From track to track, the multi-instrumentalist pulls inspiration from real-life tales and his own experiences to weave individual, specific stories.
Inspired by his travels in Scotland, the storyteller extraordinaire recounts the tale of a shipwrecked mariner’s rescue in his atmospheric closing track and first single “Of Which Mortals Only Dream.” The song’s melody follows the arc of the story perfectly. It begins with mysterious guitar picking, inviting the listener to be part of the song, feeling as though they themselves are lost at sea. Curry sings:
I was wrecked and washed upon the shore
so very close to death my friends its true
for six nights I would shake and shiver
until the seventh morn when she found me
I’d not seen a living soul
and only heard the rolling of the sea
As the narrative reveals a rescue by a mystery woman, the melody follows suit with a steady strumming evoking a sense of safety of being found. Percussion slowly emerges, eventually leading into a light groove. The story of “Of Which Mortals Only Dream” came to Curry during his time overseas but only made it to paper during the pandemic.
Having started playing the guitar and writing folk songs at fourteen years old, Curry’s musical career has taken different shapes over the years. After taking a small step away from music, the singer-songwriter returned as a semi-professional composer and sound designer. Nevertheless, the calling to write music and share stories is rooted so deep within him that he never stopped writing songs. The pandemic made this calling clear and most of the tracks that make up I Sail To Thee were brought to life during that time.
“I realized during the pandemic, with all that time for self-reflection, that life is too short and fragile not to do what you love and be who you are,” says Curry. Rightfully so, the musician practices what he preaches.
The 9-track album is a complete ode to who he is and the people who have come before him. Interlaced with small parts of him, the album reflects the history of his home province, his Celtic roots, his travels to Ireland and Scotland, and affection for his wife. The Canadian folk artist has managed to intertwine the past and present through united tales of longing, and the product is an album that has the power to carry listeners across oceans and time.
Curry’s hope is that each song is a story that will stay with the listener, long after the music stops.