2016 Parade Grand Marshal and Featured Performer
Rae Spoon has been called one of Canada’s best songwriters and their new album Armour does not disappoint. The ten new songs hold all of the lyrical depth indicative of Spoon’s compositions while showcasing their distinctive voice. Armour’s self-produced enigmatic soundscapes blur the lines between organic and electronic instruments. Analogue synthesizers, electronic drum programming, drum kits, percussion, electric bass, cello and guitar carry the album through pop refrains and danceable beats. Released by Coax Records, the album is the result of collaboration with Calgary’s Lorrie Matheson at Arch Audio Studios and features electronic arrangements by Berlin’s Alexandre Decoupigny.
Armour, Spoon’s eighth solo album, is the highly anticipated follow-up to Polaris Prize– nominated My Prairie Home, a musical about Spoon’s fraught childhood in Alberta. As much as My Prairie Home was about Spoon’s upbringing as a queer youth in a Pentecostal household, Armour is about their view of the future. Moments of reckoning with trauma and self-preservation mingle with messages of hope and survival. Armour explores the idea that there is no instruction manual for healthy adulthood, asserting that the attempt to construct meaning is itself the point of life. Armour is a tribute to the intimate space where both hope and despair have space to share the same voice.
Rae’s first book, First Spring Grass Fire, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2012. The book was a finalist for a Lambda Award in the Transgender Fiction category and was shortlisted for an Expozine Alternative Press Award. In the spring of 2014, Rae was awarded a Honour of Distinction by the Dayne Ogilvie Prize, presented by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Rae’s second book, co-written with Ivan E. Coyote and titled Gender Failure, was published in 2014. Gender Failure was on the 2015 Over The Rainbow Reading List and was translated into German.