Steven Heighton is ready to start again with his single and video New Year Song — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Written near the end of 2020, the second single from his debut album The Devil’s Share is Heighton’s defiantly hopeful, optimistic embrace of the future. With a steady acoustic strum behind his clear, confident vocal, Heighton keenly observes love’s enduring and paramount importance to those who are on the precipice of death, struggling under the weight of despair, questioning their purpose or steadfast in their faith and conviction.
Love, gratitude and a commitment to healing have already been hard at work in Heighton’s own life as he triumphantly overcame a tragic accident that almost took his voice. In 2010, the Toronto-born, Kingston-based artist suffered a crushed voice box while playing recreational hockey, and doctors told him he might never talk normally, and most certainly wouldn’t sing again. Heighton took that diagnosis as a challenge to rebuild rather than as a sentence of lifelong silence; he picked up his guitar again and returned to writing words to be sung in addition to the ones he was writing to be read.
As his voice gained strength, Heighton finished old songs, wrote new ones and felt compelled to document them. The Devil’s Share was recorded at Post Office Studio on Wolfe Island near Kingston with producer Hugh Christopher Brown. It features Brown on keyboards (Barenaked Ladies, B.B. King, Tragically Hip), bassist Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith, Ani DiFranco, Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), and lead guitarist Tony Scherr (Norah Jones, Keith Richards).
The album follows a prolific and celebrated writing career for Heighton, during which he has authored and published 18 books of poetry, fiction and essays including the 2016 Governor General’s Award-winning The Waking Comes Late. Heighton’s novel Afterlands was a best-of-year selection in several countries, and is in pre-production for film.