They’re sparkling already on houses around town and twinkling on the trees at Halifax City Hall. Soon the warm glow will spread to children’s faces and fireplace hearths, as the festive season gets underway.
Light and its many manifestations inspired Rose Cousins’ first holiday song, A New Kind of Light, the title track on a new album to benefit Maritime food banks. The CD also features fellow rising stars Jill Barber and Meaghan Smith, and they combine forces for a positively angelic vocal trio. Come hear for yourself, at their holiday concert November 30 at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.
The three solo artists came up with the album idea two years ago, after assembling a lovely batch of seasonal classics for their first performance together at CBC Mainstreet’s annual food drive. Feeling a bit hemmed in by the traditional repertoire, Ms. Cousins challenged herself and the others to pen some original numbers as well. “I figured I should stop complaining about Christmas music and start writing some,” she says.
The singers were invited back to record the tunes for a radio broadcast, which snowballed into the fundraising album. Produced by CBC’s Glenn Meisner and Karl Falkenham, A New Kind of Light is now available at all Lawtons Drugs locations throughout the Maritimes. The 12-song collection includes three originals, a spine-tingling version of The Angel Gabriel and fresh interpretations of such favourites as Little Drummer Boy and Blue Christmas.
Ms. Cousins is also getting recognition for her solo debut, If You Were For Me. She released it last year, shortly after leaving her job in alumni relations at Dalhousie to pursue music full time.
“Dalhousie was definitely a great place to incubate … I wrote my first songs at Dal.” says Ms. Cousins. She took a basic guitar class “for fun” during her kinesiology degree and eventually realized music was her true calling.
“You have to follow your gut, even if you don’t know how everything’s going to work out,” she says. “Luckily everything I’ve done so far has shown me I’m on the right track.”
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