Homing town | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

“I didn’t intend to make this CD so quickly,” says Steven Bowers of his brand new disc Homing, recorded over the past year in his friend Dave Gunning’s home studio. “I didn’t expect to go in and do an album so soon. We went into the studio and did demo versions, but then we got a lot of work done in a week so we figured these could be the CD itself. It’s a little different sound, it’s a little more acoustic.”

The title comes from local author Stephanie Domet’s novel, also called Homing, about a woman who can’t leave her house and uses homing pigeons to carry messages to a ghost. “There’s a song I was working on a few years ago and it was about a pigeon,” says Bowers from his Halifax home, where he’s catching up on season four of Weeds. “I saw a thing on the Discovery channel about how birds fly into buildings in cities because they think they’re flying into the horizon, and I thought it was a good metaphor.”

Reading the book connected the dots, and the resulting song, featuring the poignant refrain “Always homing and never home,” is one of the record’s more intricately structured numbers—a rock beginning transitions into a string climax—and includes a lovely vocal guest spot from the busy Meaghan Smith. (Bowers is mad blessed in the friend department—Smith’s husband Jason Mingo, Domet’s husband Kev Corbett, Keith Mullins, Kim Dunn, JP Cormier and Cathy Porter all play on the record.)

Bowers, who got married last month, says being in love hasn’t changed---or damaged---his songwriting perspective. “I like telling stories with a tune, like you would write a book or soemthing,” he says. “With ‘Homing,’ the first half of that song is from the writer’s perspective, and the second is intended to be what the pigeon is thinking.” He credits Newfoundland folk singer Ron Hynes as an influence: “He often writes from someone’s shoes and it kinda makes the songwriting a bit easier cause you’re not stuck in someone’s boring life.”

Homing will be released on August 13 at The Carleton with Bowers’ band, The Acoustic Theft, and guests The Stanfields, who you might remember as Folds of Policy. Domet will be in the house for a reading as well. Show starts at 8pm, $20 gets you in and a record to leave with. Bowers also plays Music Nova Scotia’s Tunes at Noon stage on August 8 in Grand Parade.

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