Many of our readers, through the years, may very likely remember our website writing often about one of the most original and inspired band of the Soul, R&B and Rock out of the Canadian music scene, called No Sinner, a collective that perhaps didn't have a long lifespan (the band just released two albums, between 2013 and 2016), but that certainly showed a vast abundance of talent and musicianship, especially through their bandleader and No Sinner's co-founder (together with guitarist Eric Campbell), the singer/songwriter and actress Colleen Rennison.
Rennison was the real engine of the Canadian collective. Together with a very strong stage presence, Rennison seemed to have the world at her feet in many ways, back then, thanks also to a natural ability as a songwriter coupled with a singing voice of exceptional strength and power.
Things though didn't go exactly according to plan, for the uber-talented singer and songwriter, with Rennison having to battle repeatedly, throughout the last decade, many personal demons that took Colleen Rennison in a downward spiral from which, rather thankfully, this brilliant and very gifted artist emerged victoriously, thanks also to the power of music.
Working closely with producer Felix Fung and one of Rennison's long-time admirer called Stephen Jeffery, a guitarist that was also instrumental in helping Rennison to get clean, back in Vancouver and to focus intensely on the making of her new solo album (Rennison's second one, after her 2014 album of covers called See The Sky About The Rain), the Canadian singer/songwriter dug deeply into her personal life with such candor and raw honesty, generating 9 songs that will see now the light of the day through Rennison's new solo album called Persephone, due to be released on 8th September.
Together with being the most personal and intimate portrait on Rennison's soul, Persephone (the album title is a double-entendre between the name of the motorbike Rennison used to ride back few years ago and also the way that the Canadian artist sees herself as a human being, paraphrasing the Greek Queen of the Underworld) is also a record that displays the singer/songwriter's unconditional love for the Motown Soul sound and the most celebrated Soul queens of all times, like Etta James, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin, something that emerged especially in some of the album's ballads, like Fork In The Road and Means To An End, for example.
However, Persephone, from a sonic point of view, it is not only Soul and Motown Sound but there is a lot more, within the layers of sound of the record. The album's title-track, for example, is a highly entertaining combo of Soul and Fusion, while Crawling On The Ceiling is a pure foot-stomping, uptempo, fun hybrid of R&B and Soul that just brings an enormous smile on the listener's face.
Most importantly, though, at the center of it all, there is Colleen Rennison, an artist that takes you all the way into her personal life path through that stratospheric singing voice that she has, someone that wants the listener to understand just what the singer/songwriter has been through and to share her journey with and how much music is helping her to leave the past behind, by focusing one day per time and investing on herself and the many talents she has been gifted with in life.
What Persephone is giving to the art of music, it's not only a record full of little but highly precious musical gems, but also the metaphorical release of the Queen of the Underworld once and for all from her previous (although temporary) habitat, this time, returning straight to the peak of the Mount Olympus of the music scene, where she rightly belongs to. Goodbye, Persephone, welcome back Colleen Rennison.
Persephone is due to be released digitally on Amazon and the most important streaming platforms on 8th September 2023.