Jill Barber, Rose Cousins & Meaghan Smith

A New Kind of Light


Jill Barber, Rose Cousins & Meaghan Smith
A New Kind of Light
(CBC)
The most powerful metaphor coming out of Christmas is the light. The whole world turns toward greater light, longer days, at this time of year (however, and if, you mark it).

Around this time, we turn to storytellers like Jill Barber, Rose Cousins and Meaghan Smith to remind us to let in the light and to contemplate the glow—joyful work considering the sales of this album and the attendant concert on Friday November 30 at the Rebecca Cohn go entirely to Maritime Food Banks.

Working with deft musicians, the Halifax singer-songwriters give a new shine to some of the season’s classics, including “The Angel Gabriel”—brilliant three-part harmony from these ‘highly favoured’ ladies. Smith re-envisions “Little Drummer Boy,” while Cousins captures perfectly the melancholy at the heart of Vince Guaraldi’s melody for “Christmas Time is Here,” the album’s opener.

Melancholy has its own luminous quality. It’s long-distance light. Smith reveals that on her original, and a clever inversion of the old theme of homecoming, “I’ll Be Here for Christmas”; it’s a faint but still burning flame as Jill Barber shows us on the lesser-known standard “Christmas Bells” and her own “This Christmas.” And who knew a peace song, Barber’s own “Try for Peace,” could sound simultaneously smart and sweet and lowdown?

Peace is often described as light. Every year we renew our hope for peace, lighting candles anew. Rose Cousin’s “New Kind of Light” makes for a suitable and beautiful title track for this album and for this Christmas.
Sean Flinn
categories: Coast pick,Local artist,Canadian artist

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.