Marin Patenaude’s confessional folk is deeply honest, inspired by the wildness of nature, the messiness of human connection, and the overwhelming desire to run away from it all. Emotional lyrics paired with softly powerful instrumentals craft stories that explore loving and losing, the fragility of the human condition, and stories of a rural upbringing.
The daughter of musical parents and the younger sister of Juno-award winning Pharis Romero, she was raised on folk and country harmonies. While it was a huge part of her upbringing, Marin didn’t initially look to music as a viable career. From landscaping for the rich to running through the woods with her dog, a backpack, and a surveyors map, scrubbing toilets to training horses, she collected many random and interesting skills and experiences to use as songwriting fodder. When travels through other disciplines and passions didn’t last, she made a record; a heavy collection of songs about heartbreak and displacement. A surprising first release, it’s full of gut punching beauty.
Following the release of her self-titled debut in 2016, Marin extensively toured BC’s festival circuit as a solo act, across Canada with Kenton Loewen as part of Dan Mangan’s house concert series Side Door, through Germany and Switzerland as a duo with Cole Schmidt, and worked as a session harmony singer in Vancouver for artists including Khari Wendell McClelland, Sam Tudor, Real Ponchos, CR Avery, Ora Cogan, The Crackling and many more. She opened for Sarah McLachlan at the 2016 Vancouver International Jazz festival at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, a personal career highlight.
In support of her second album, Marin joined Dallas Green’s Toronto based label Still Records. Sight Unseen was produced at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, mixed by Karl Bareham, and mastered by Jaoa Carvalho. Marin took the reins on production, and enlisted the help of dedicated players she feels very connected to, musically and emotionally. They kept their hearts and the doors open for magical studio surprises, and the finished album reflects that open minded approach to sound.
Sight Unseen shows a louder, grittier side of Marin’s indie folk sensibility. Citing the influence of artists like Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Sarah McLachlan, and Neil Young, there’s an underlying darkness beneath the clear, free spirited melodies. For Marin, her songs are an extension of self–an opportunity to be as honest and real as she feels, something she has difficulty doing in the so-called real world. It’s big and it’s not always light. Though she’s a bright personality by nature, she often uses her music as a way to process grief. Her vocals are strong and technically trained, and she’s outspoken about the complexities of relationships and the uncertainty of our current political times.
The album is out May 29th.
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