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Gord Sinclair | Taxi Dancers

The Tragically Hip bassist celebrates life and processes grief on his first solo disc.

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WHO IS HE? The former bassist and songwriter from universally beloved (and now disbanded) Canadian rock legends The Tragically Hip.

WHAT IS THIS? His first solo album — and perhaps more relevantly, the first offering from any of the bandmembers since singer and national icon Gordon Downie’s untimely death from glioblastoma in October 2017.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Grief being processed. Life being celebrated. And healing finally beginning. One glance at song titles like It’s Already Too Late, In The Next Life, Your Comet Drowns Out The Star Filled Sky and Never Coming Back will tell you what Sinclair’s been going through lately. But make no mistake: Taxi Dancers is no pity party. Although Downie’s presence naturally looms large throughout the disc, for the most part Sinclair keeps things upbeat — emotionally and especially musically. In fact, much of this collection of earthy Can-rock crunch, jangling folk-pop and acoustic ballads will likely feel somewhat familiar to fans. One thing that might not: Sinclair’s surprisingly high, tender vocals.

WHAT ARE THE MOST REVEALING LYRICS? “We’ll meet again in the next life.”

WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? We Are Not The Same.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? At sunset, while wearing your favourite Hip T-shirt and reminiscing about all those shows.

WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Soul-baring, thoughtful, moving, grounded, welcoming, intimate, reassuring, introspective, optimistic, sweet.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? It’s Already Too Late, Wonderful, Up And Over and You Comet Drowns Out The Star Filled Sky wouldn’t sound out of place on a Hip album. Bonus points for the mournfully cathartic guitar solo that closes out Never Coming Back.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘It’s not a Tragically Hip album, but it’s close enough.’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? It should be good for at least a few spins, and a few of these songs might even make it onto your Can-Rock playlist.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A GLASS, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Half-full.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Fans will want to pay; everybody else can stream it.