Cornflower Blue Review in the Kitchissippi TimesA Labour of Love
Fatherhood's sleepless nights inspires album by musical duo 'Cornflower Blue' (Paula Roy, Kitchissippi Times)
Musicians often equate the process of making an album with giving birth. The analogy is particularly apt in the case of Highland Park resident Trevor May, who is one half of the dynamic, electric-folk duo 'Cornflower Blue'. Inspired by late-night singing sessions to lull his newborn son to sleep, May and musical partner Theresa McInerny have just released 'Infant Songs', a melodic recording that wraps around your soul the first time you hear it. While 'Infant Songs' is Cornflower Blue's first release, it is not May and McInerny's first project together. For over a dozen years they have been members of the Kitchissippi-based roots-rock band EFARM (which played to an enthusiastic audience at Westfest in June). Trevor and Theresa have also been working as a duo for four years, including busking in Westboro Village and a variety of gigs about town including at Dovercourt Recreation Centre. "Part of what made Cornflower Blue work in the beginning is that we had more availability at that time that the other EFARM members, " explains May. "We gathered enough songs to a point where we were comfortable with them, but the album project really came together last summer with the birth of my second child. I spent every night just singing and rocking. One night at 3 am I turned on Garageband on my computer and recorded 'Morning wiht the Young Man', just singing what I saw around me: 'whiskey on the table, sleep in my eyes.' Other songs were written as I held my son; he was also in our home studio for many of the evening recording sessions of the next five months. We left in some of his squawks." Included on the disc are four original tracks, written primarily by May with harmonic input from McInerny. Also featured are covers of songwriting stalwarts such as Neil Young (Pocahontas), Coldplay (Green Eyes), John Prine (Angel from Montgomery) and Joel Plaskett (Sailor's Eyes).
May says the process of making the album was fun, although there were moments of frustration. "We've done studio recording before and it was certainly much simpler doing it ourselves, at home," he says. May notes that working as a duo rather than a four-some presents a very different dynamic. "Its' easier on some ways but also frightening because there is nowhere to hide," he says. Theirs is a unique sound with thoughtful lyrics, lush harmonies and chiming guitars. It has a country edge but also an ethereal quality. "I really like our use of a lot of space in our pieces, leaving wide open holes for the imagination. I guess it's almost like a soundscape," says May. "We both feel that Catherine is probably our favourite track on the album. It's an original tune; I like the story it tells and the dynamics of the piece." "I love the harmonies and the rhythm of the song," adds McInerny. May says that Cornflower Blue likes to cover quite a range of material. "Rather than looking at specific artists, we tend to go after songs with a certian quality — based on the melody, harmony and hooks that draw you in. We chose to do mostly covers on this record because I was too sleep deprived to come up with new material but I got a lot of writing done on a recent train trip with my family."
The CD was officially launched on July 10 at a well-attended party at Bass Line Station. It's now available through www.cornflowerbluemusic.com where you can give it a listen or contact them for purchase. "We hope people will love it as much as we do," notes May. "We've been told already by fans that they felt like listening to it all day long. That's pretty cool."