Andrea Rankin wades into the ebb and flow of life on her sparkling debut EP Tides — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“This is a collection of songs that explores how our lives come to us in cycles,” the Edmonton-born, Stratford-based multi-talent muses. “We think feelings will stick around forever, but they crash like waves on the shores of our lives and move back out to the sea.”
An esteemed actor, singer, songwriter and pianist with three seasons at The Stratford Festival (as well as umpteen other credits) on her resumé, Rankin has crafted a unique and contemplative brand of indie alt-pop on Tides, a six-track breakthrough sojourn through sensitive and cathartic observations of rugged themes around regret, falling in love, asking for help, and healing. “This album feels like a time capsule, or a photograph,” she says. “There are breakups, moves, travels, new loves, growth, old friendships, and time in these songs. As a classically trained singer and pianist, I steered my proverbial ‘ship’ in an entirely new direction on Tides. I explored ethereal, delicate vocals and waves of playful arrangements with keyboards and synth.”
Recorded at True North Recording Studios, the album was produced by Jesse Northey (Jesse & The Dandelions, Victory Pool, MGMT). “Jesse is an incredible producer, musician, and friend,” Rankin shares. “Working on the album, it was just the two of us in the studio so we took our time drinking coffee and catching up. Ultimately it allowed us to approach each song with curiosity and humour.” For the single The Party, that meant considering how “sometimes people enter our lives like it’s a house party,” Rankin says. “They trash the place — our hearts — and then leave before cleaning up their mess. It’s painful. Other times, we are that person to someone else. We’re all capable of being both the organ and the knife. This is true in relationships with others and also with ourselves. It can be difficult to make friends with yourself.”
Speaking of friends, Rankin penned Blush and Bloom for one who was experiencing a hard time, she shares. “I wanted it to feel like sun streaming through a window, or someone helping you get out of bed on a cold winter morning. I wanted to remind her of the beauty in simple things.” Meanwhile, the song Dizzy Moon is about “falling quickly for someone and not being sure if they’re going to catch you. It’s about trusting someone before you’re sure if they can be trusted. It’s about wanting to know if someone is going to be a fleeting presence in your life or an anchor; not knowing if someone is ‘prose or a poem’ or a ‘lighthouse or a porch light.’ ”
In a complementary vein, Heal is about “developing a relationship with someone when you’ve both been hurt before,” she considers. “It’s about the fear of trusting someone and loving again and how, and the wondering of ‘if this will be love that heals or hurts you,’ and if this is the person you want to figure that out with.” The album rounds out with White Flag and Fine. The former “is about a breaking point … about admitting you’re hurting and can’t do it alone. It’s also about seeing collective, societal pain; I wrote it after the 2016 election and after I moved to a new city alone. Fine is about finding comfort in leaning on someone that’s really there for you. It’s about that feeling of being understood — either in a relationship with someone else or with yourself. It’s about knowing that you’re seen and loved, without conditions.
In all, I hope these songs offer some comfort if the tides get too high. I hope they’re a reminder that, in life, they’re only waves. They will wash away, and a new one will come.” Listen to Tides below, watch The Party above, and find out more about Andrea Rankin on her website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.