Catia Dignard makes a romantic choice in her new jazz-folk single Rather — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“Rather is about starting love anew once we have lost our innocence,” the singer-songwriter explains, adding that it also touches on “carrying the scars of our pasts without them becoming liabilities.”
A torch song about not carrying one, Rather atmospherically sets such a stage for renewal with its lovely, interwoven piano and sax intro melody. Dignard’s yearning declaration of “wanted for so long to feel this peacefulness inside on my own” opens a channel to calmer waters after the storm.
Weathering her own personal challenges — like going back to grad school, moving to a new city and ending a long-term relationship — provided the impetus for Dignard to release Rather now after initially writing and recording the song a few years ago. “It’s one of these songs just waiting for the moment to find its place in the world,” says the Montréal-born Toronto artist. “Life changes and a great deal of soul searching made me revisit it with a new perspective.”
Having lived in Latin America and North Africa during her childhood, Dignard draws inspiration from the sea and her travels. As such, Rather flows along on a rolling sea of piano, saxophone and percussion with Dignard’s smooth, sultry vocal at the crest of the wave, journeying from one stage of life to the next.
“This song has also travelled quite a bit,” notes Dignard. “It was written in Montréal. Its music [was] composed and charted in Toronto. Then, recorded and performed first under the stars in Havana in December 2019 and finally mixed and mastered in the Eastern Townships, Quebec in the spring of 2020.”
A magical collaboration while visiting Cuba just prior to the first pandemic lockdown provided Dignard with the instrumental foundation for Rather; the musicians she met and recorded with in the musical hotbed of Havana helped give this song its wings just before a time during which creative flight has felt nearly impossible for many. “In the midst of these turbulent times, both on a personal and global level, I found a safe haven musical community of collaborators and friends for this piece to come about,” she shares.
Rather was recorded at Manane Records Studios in Havana and produced by Miguel Ángel Wong Díaz, who also plays guitar on the track. In addition to Díaz are the “incredible team of Havana-based musicians,” Dignard says, including Lendy Fernández (piano), Francisco Spek Silveira (saxophone), Yan Sanabria Betancourt (bass) and Carlos A. Valdés Bastante (drums) — along with Dignard’s “long-time accomplice” and saxophonist David Elias engineering and mastering the track.