Featuring Crissi Cochrane and produced at Union Sound Company in Toronto, the song is a sneak peek of Brendan’s forthcoming album Summer Moons
Coaxing a lover into dancing beneath the stars, singer-songwriter Brendan Scott Friel’s latest single ‘Cheap String Lights’ is a dreamy landscape of expert folk finesse, and a first taste of his upcoming 2021 album, Summer Moons.
Recorded at Union Sound Company in Toronto, producer James Bunton (whose production credits include recordings by Donovan Woods, Joey Landreth, and David Myles) balances the soft intimacy of Brendan’s acoustic guitar leads with playful arrangements. “I sought out James because I am hopelessly in love with the work he’s done with Donovan Woods,” says Brendan.
Like Donovan Woods, Brendan’s light and relaxed voice is a vehicle for the storytelling of his songs, which Bunton helped to finesse through weekly pre-production meetings via Zoom. “James will ask question after question to help clarify the heart of the song’s intention,” shares Brendan. “In ‘Cheap String Lights’, the narrator is impatient, like a child, and will say anything to get his partner to come explore the night.”
The inspiration for the song came from transforming the backyard of his South Windsor home into an oasis to share with his wife. “It got me thinking about that feeling of finding magic in the ordinary settings we find ourselves in, day after day,” Brendan explains. “Put that together with my lifelong struggle to fall asleep, and I think you find the root of the song.”
The single ends with a featured vocal performed by fellow singer-songwriter Crissi Cochrane, suggesting that the narrator of the song has succeeded in convincing his partner to come outdoors. “I was overjoyed when Brendan asked me to be the guest vocalist,” writes Crissi in a recent Facebook post. “Of course, I said yes, and he came by my porch soon after to work out the parts, bringing with him a couple of tall cans and the aura of excitement that comes from being in the home stretch of recording a new album.”
Produced with financial support from the City of Windsor’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Fund, ‘Cheap String Lights’ and the upcoming album Summer Moons were recorded in 2020 in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. “Like many, I have been laid off from my day job since the shutdown in March,” says Brendan, who took advantage of the downtime to forge ahead with the album in his basement studio. “There was no waiting for inspiration to strike, I simply treated it like a 9-5 and showed up.”
The 10-song album Summer Moons is slated for release on April 21, 2021. “I’ve had the pleasure of listening to it in its entirety,” says Crissi, “and I can divulge that Summer Moons is a pure work of art, pushing the boundaries of modern folk into new and inspiring places, with Brendan’s skillful songwriting shining a light on lovely and haunting stories. I cannot wait for the world to hear this album.”
‘Cheap String Lights’, presented in partnership with Soul City Music Co-op, is available now on all streaming platforms and at brendanscottfriel.ca.
About Brendan Scott Friel
With international tours and hundreds of shows under his belt and his weathered mini Martin acoustic guitar in his hand, Brendan Scott Friel has earned his reputation as a consummate professional. Since hitting the ground running with his self-produced solo album Quiet Cars in 2017, Brendan has become a fan favourite in his home city of Windsor, Ontario, and an export-ready artist, in between hours spent teaching music to more than 40 students per week. Continuing the momentum garnered by his 2019 single ‘Border City Town’ featuring Kelly Hoppe and appearing on the Wards of Windsor compilation album, Brendan’s second full-length recording Summer Moons is set for release in April 2021.
About Soul City Music Co-op
Launched on January 1st, 2020, the Soul City Music Co-op is not your traditional music label. Co-founded by Windsor singer-songwriters Mike Hargreaves and Crissi Cochrane, the label takes no percentage of its artists’ earnings or rights, and instead fosters sustainable self-managed music careers through mentorship, solidarity, and skill-sharing. The label features a small but growing roster of eight diverse Windsor artists – Brendan Scott Friel, The Bishop Boys, Crissi Cochrane, Madeline Doornaert, Ayola, Dane Roberts, Soul Brother Mike, and The Family Soul.