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Here’s to Health 

The Heavy Blinkers’ latest, *Health*, gets all narrative on you, inspired by European history and female martyrs.


The Heavy Blinkers celebrate their good Health with a cabaret-style album release at The Seahorse September 10. Bill Wood sets the mystical tone with a magic show.

"Originally, the album was called As Long As You Have Your Health, which was a bit of a joke vis a vis the fact the characters that populate the songs are either heartbroken, dead, ghosts or widows," says pianist Jason Michael MacIsaac.

Health is a sonic testament to love, loss and narrative storytelling, The Heavy Blinkers features MacIsaac on keys, David Christensen on woodwinds, percussion and arrangements, Ellen Gibling on pedal harp and celtic harp, Melanie Stone and Stewart Legere on vocals and Adam Fine on bass. Jenn Grant---who is a card-carrying lifetime member---joins the band when she can.

Given its orchestral pop arrangements and lush musicality, the recording of Health was an on-again, off-again affair, featuring two different incantations of the band. "We flew to London to record with Sean O'Hagan of The High Llamas, Brooklyn to record with Sondre Lerche and even did some tracking in France," says MacIsaac. "All the while, I was writing dozens and dozens of new songs that were never intended for Health, and I hope to curate the best of that material and new work to make a solid follow up album tout de suite."

Inspired by longing, European history and a stroll past the Joan of Arc tower in Rouen, France several years ago, MacIsaac started imagining a song cycle about female martyrs. "When we got back to Canada, the idea evolved into making an album about ghosts, then specifically ghosts of World War I, then the concept of war, then widows," he says. "In the end, if the album seems at all illusory in its narrative, it's because we ended up telling stories that touch on all of those things." --Shannon Webb-Campbell

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