Week 8: “Lodestar” by Sarah Harmer

If lazy summer afternoons had an anthem, this song would be it. Full of lyrics about boats, campfires, and fresh air, this song appears to be Sarah Harmer’s ode to Muskoka. If you ever have friends who are getting married and who are putting things like “canoe paddles” on their registry, make sure this song gets played at their wedding. You’ll be their hero, and you’ll probably get to keep any leftover wine from the reception.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The cello. Or is it a double bass? Whatever it is, quiet and unhurried, it lazily hums its part. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but the cellist may have been in a hammock when recording this.

2. The muted trumpet. This is an unusual instrument to include in a folk song, but it fits well; I imagine it to represent the distant lightning of a storm that you can see while lazing in your chair on the dock.

3. The build up. Keeping with that storm idea, this song really ends like an approaching storm. The trumpet becomes louder, the bassline gets more insistent, and she sings about the darkness “ringing” in the night…I can’t help picturing one of those hot afternoons where a storm creeps in from a distance, and you dash inside just as the first drops are falling, ready to enjoy an evening of watching for forks of lightning with your friends and saying, “oooh, did you see that one?”

Recommended listening activity:

Anything involving a cottage.

Buy it here.