Echoes of the Parachute Club and the evocative voice of ‘social optimism’
Lorraine Segato is back with a long-awaited new album
The album is now available to purchase from http://www.lorrainesegato.com
Like the sun, Lorraine Segato also rises (up). She’s just not as predictable.
The voice of the socially-progressive musical collaboration Parachute Club has channeled a new burst of creativity into the album Invincible Decency. Two years in the making, it’s her first album in 15 years and a look back to the funk groove of Parachute Club with her longtime collaborator David Gray, the band’s guitarist/composer. And fittingly, it was also somewhat of a creative accident.
“I see myself as a prolific creator– yet I would not say I’m a prolific songwriter,” the Canadian music legend says. “I sometimes have to wait a painfully long time for the songs to appear and then… whoosh …years have gone by.
“In the middle of writing a one-woman show, the songs started to emerge in a rather urgent way. So I took a break from playwriting and recorded them. I like to call this project ‘optimistic music for people who have been through stuff.’”
Segato’s album title choice (also its title track) is entirely in keeping with her status as one of the country’s leading social voices. “The name Invincible Decency came from hearing (former UN Special Envoy) Stephen Lewis refer to the incredible strength and perseverance of the African grandmothers who were fighting the ravages of AIDS and taking care of their children’s children,” Segato recalls. “Invincibly Decent. That’s what he called them. And a shiver ran down my spine. Wow! What a beautiful phrase. Imagine feeling like you were Invincibly Decent.”
Creatively inspired, Segato headed into the studio to realize a two-year musical vision that will excite fans of both Parachute Club and of Segato’s eclectic solo oeuvre. With David Gray’s confident collaboration, Invincible Decency marks a return to the groove-oriented roots of early Parachute Club material. Songs like Only Human, Hole in the Wall and All Went Wrong (Right Time) feature strong melodies and memorable lyrics that evoke our first introduction to Segato’s unique voice.
Additionally, Segato sings in Italian for the first time in a Latin-fueled pop song called Tengo Le Tasche Vuote. And in the album’s most touching moment, she pays tribute to her late, longtime Parachute Club partner Billy Bryans, with the powerful, stark and touching Times Like This.
“Within a short period of time, I lost two dear friends, (NDP leader) Jack Layton and shortly after, Billy Bryans,” Segato recalls. “There is a moment when you know someone you love is going to die, and it is a brutal, paralyzing moment. But there is a strange beauty that comes along with grief.”
This album heralds a signature moment for Segato – with her distinctive and rich tones, powerful resonant voice and mature songs that meditate and celebrate upon universal themes of love, loss, hope and perseverance.
ABOUT LORRAINE SEGATO:
Musician… songwriter… voice of empowerment…
And in the years since Lorraine Segato’s dynamic debut in the collaborative musical collective Parachute Club, you can add filmmaker, artistic director, lecturer, social justice activist and speechwriter to her resume.
If she’d done nothing else, the accomplishments of the group she co-founded would have been legend-worthy.
The Parachute Club garnered five Junos, two platinum records, a SOCAN Classic Award for “Rise Up” and an Indie Hall of Fame Award from Canadian Music Week’s Indie Music Awards.
A lightning rod at the time for transcultural awareness, the groups’ hits “Rise Up,” “At the Feet of the Moon,” “Love and Compassion,” and “Love is Fire” remain staples on Canadian radio.
On her own, Segato has released two critically praised solo recordings—Luminous City and Phoenix—and contributed to TV and movie soundtracks.
She’s also turned her eyes to visual narrative – directing, writing, narrating and editing Queen Street West: The Rebel Zone, an acclaimed documentary produced by the award-winning Rhombus Media International (Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould). Recently, Segato and internationally renowned documentary filmmaker Shelley Saywell have begun uncovering the stories and talents of Toronto’s at-risk population for an upcoming project.
Over the years Segato has alternated between singing, directing, speechwriting, and producing cultural events. She has begun writing a one-woman show, Get Off My Dress and has released her first album in 15 years, entitled Invincible Decency. Segato is also releasing updated remixes of classic Parachute Club songs beginning with At the Feet of the Moon and a gospel remix of Rise Up titled Rize Time with spoken-word artist Mustafa the Poet.
Segato is currently fulfilling a two-year term as Regent Park’s first honorary Artist-In-Residence, which is sponsored by The Daniels Corporation. Part of her mandate involves finding new ways to enrich, celebrate and draw attention to the developing neighbourhood of Regent Park, while curating cultural activities and events that further the envisioning of an international caliber artist residency program.