Folk singer-songwriter Corey Isenor is a bit of a wanderer. In the past decade, he spent six years calling Sackville home. From there, Isenor relocated to Halifax before ultimately landing in his current home of LaHave, N.S.
With four records to his credit, including his brand new album Hollowbody, Isenor has almost spent as much time away from home as he has been at home. His current Canadian tour, touching down at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Hillsborough this Sunday night, began at the start of the month in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Isenor tells the Times & Transcript that he has always been drawn to small communities as opposed to being a big city kind of guy.
“I grew up in a rural community of Nova Scotia and so, I have always been drawn to the outdoors and the coast,” Corey says. “I spent time living in Halifax, which was an ideal situation but I found myself wanting to leave the city space more often then not. So when I was given the opportunity to move to Lunenburg before I relocated to LaHave last year, I totally took the chance. It was definitely for the better as it allowed me the space and time to really focus on writing and creating the album while putting me closer to all of the integral creative individuals who would be apart of it.”
While his external surroundings played some role in how the material on his newest record developed, Corey says that it was more the situations of those surrounding him that helped direct the lyrical content on Hollowbody.
“The songs are definitely a mix of fiction and real life but many of the songs are actually inspired by real-life events. I have come to know a lot of friends over the past year that have gone through some tough situations in their lives, including drug and alcohol abuse. At the same time, I was developing more of a realization about how I was viewing the world and what I wanted to communicate through my music.
“For this record, I felt like I finally started acknowledging the bigger ideas in my head and started focusing on those as concepts instead of the typical heartbreak subject or women in general,” Corey says. “I felt like that was too much of a crutch for me so I made my best effort to not write those types of songs and I’m really happy with what I came up with. That’s not to say that subject matter still doesn’t make it into the music, but now the album looks more at personal pain with other subjects like addiction, vanity, loss, imagination, life-direction and more.”
Some might consider writing songs about “the road” to be a well-worn cliché for musicians. There certainly is no lack of such songs floating about the hemisphere however Corey has deliberately attempted to steer away from the topic. This isn’t to say that the experience of being on tour behind his previous release The Hunting Party didn’t help indirectly shape some of the songs on Hollowbody.
“I think because I released The Hunting Party so much earlier in relation to the tour that supported it, I had a different idea of where I was taking the music and why I was performing it. Touring gives you a great opportunity to see a lot of friends and musicians that you wouldn’t normally get to see during your life, which I found to be inspiring. It was a kind of creative energy and perspective boost before sitting down and writing the songs on Hollowbody. Being on tour helped show me where I was with my music but also allowed me to see where I wanted to really go with it as well.”
What: Corey Isenor with Old Cabin
When: Sunday Dec. 1, 8:00 p.m.
Where: St. Mary’s Anglican Church, 39 Mill St., Hillsborough
Tickets are priced at a suggested donation of $10. Tickets may be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Article published in the November 29, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript