The Canadians are different than other North Americans. However, one cannot stereotype Canucks anymore than categorize people from the United States or the United Kingdom as being a certain way. That said, Abigail Lapell’s music recalls that of those 1960s folk-rock Canadian troubadours like Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. Her songs frequently offer pristine acoustic guitar playing, poetic lyricism, and a well-modulated voice that somehow addresses contemporary concerns while existing in a timeless present as if they would always be relevant to the current situation.
This is undoubtedly the case with Lapell‘s latest single release, “Land of Plenty”, from her forthcoming album Stolen Time. The song was inspired by former US President Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants and her own family history. Lapell’s folks emigrated as penniless refugees to the Great White North from Europe to escape the Holocaust. She notes that life in the New World was not easy for them, but the promise of a better life lifted their spirits.
Stolen Time features the dignified yet imposing presence of additional string musicians, horns, and background vocalists, including Dan Fortin, bass; Dani Nash, drums, vocals; Christine Bougie, lap steel, guitar; Rachael Cardiello, viola; Katie Moore, vocals; Chris Velan, vocals; Pietro Amato, French horn; Ellwood Epps trumpet; Fats Kaplin, pedal steel and Peggy Lee, cello. “Land of Plenty” is mostly Lapell solo and, as its name suggests, recalls the work of Woody Guthrie and other Dust Bowl folkies. The song suggests that even in a world of abundance, the needy among us are grateful for the chance for something more. The singer’s head is always held high and proud even when things are tough.
Lapell has previously released three full-length albums and won two Canadian Folk Music Awards (English Songwriter of the Year in 2020 and Contemporary Album of the Year in 2017). Stolen Time comes out on 22 April.