Published Jan 24, 2020Canadian music hero Joel Plaskett is returning with a seriously ambitious new solo project. This spring, he will release a sprawling four-record album called 44 on April 17 — one day before his 45th birthday. And yes, we really do mean 44 will be a quadruple album made up of four records, all of which will boast 11 songs each.
Arriving via Pheromone Recordings, the four-album project is described as a "conceptual follow-up" to 2009's Three — though Plaskett has since released such records as Joel Plaskett & The Park Avenue Sobriety Test in 2015 and Solidarity in 2017, as well as reunited with Thrush Hermit.
A press release further explains, "44 is a visionary project comprised of four, 11-song records, packaged together and connected thematically. Four years in the making, the songs were recorded in Dartmouth, Memphis, Nashville and Toronto with 33 different musicians."
The albums each have their own titles: 41: Carried Away, 42: Just Passing Through, 43: If There's Another Road and 44: The Window Inn.
For an idea what to expect from the ambitious project, you can watch a lyric video to the album's newly shared "Head over Heels into Heaven," which co-written by Plaskett and Mo Kenney and features the Emergency (Dave Marsh & Chris Pennell).
Explaining the project further, the press release states:
Musically, 44 showcases many of Joel's talents, and the hallmarks that have established him as one of Canada's best known contemporary songwriters. Catchy rock'n'roll, delicate acoustic ballads and sonic production experiments bounce around the albums, all held together by Joel's unique and inimitable lyrical style. Varying themes run across the records, but at its heart, 44 is an imaginative, musical rumination on trying to slow down and grow up in a rapidly accelerating world.
The first album, 41: Carried Away, is a travelling record. It starts in Memphis with the song Collusion, old memories colliding with the present and the journey begins. The second album, 42: Just Passing Through, playfully evokes the feeling of returning home to an unfamiliar landscape, while, 43: If There's Another Road, is an introspective, nighttime transition from lost to found. The fourth and final album, 44: The Window Inn, documents the arrival at a personal destination, summed up in the last song, "A Benefit 4 Dreamland."
In a statement, Plaskett himself said the following, "Making a record has always felt to me like trying to put a frame around a group of songs. In going through my songs from the last four years, it dawned on me that I'd need more than one frame to contain what I've been writing about. Hence four panes within a frame, four records in one box. Synchronicity and numbers have always been a fascination, and I saw this project as an opportunity to create something to mark my 44th year on this mystifying planet."
In support of the project, Plaskett will be taking 44 out on tour across Canada this spring. All dates will feature Mo Kenney and features the Emergency. You can see the full schedule down below.
04/16 Truro, NS - Marigold Cultural Centre
04/23 Campbell River, BC - Tidemark Theatre
04/24 Victoria, BC - Capital Ballroom
04/25 Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
04/28 Calgary, AB - Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts/The Bella Concert Hall
04/30 Edmonton, AB - Myer Horowitz Theatre
05/01 Saskatoon, SK - Broadway Theatre
05/02 Regina, SK - The Exchange
05/04 Winnipeg, MB - Park Theatre
05/06 Thunder Bay, ON - Crocks
05/08 Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
05/09 Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
05/12 London, ON - Aeolian Hall
05/13 London, ON - Aeolian Hall
05/14 Kingston, ON - Grand Theatre
05/15 Ottawa, ON - National Arts Centre - Babs Asper Theatre
05/16 Montreal, QC - Petit Campus
05/24 St. Johns, NL - St. John's Arts & Culture Centre
05/26 Labrador City, NL -Labrador West Arts & Culture Centre
05/28 Grand Falls, Windsor, NL - Gordon Pinsent Arts and Culture Centre
05/29 Gander, NL - Joseph R Smallwood Arts & Culture Centre
05/30 Stephenville, NL - Stephenville Arts & Culture Centre
05/31 Corner Brook, NL - Corner Brook Arts & Culture Centre