Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Monica Lee uses her powerful voice, sense of humour and poetic chops to warm our hearts as well as to share her pain. That’s never been more evident than on her latest album, Farewell, containing 10 tracks that chronicle a tumultuous past decade in her life.
From bad break-ups to finding a soul mate, starting a family while at the same time losing loved ones, the songs on Farewell span the breadth of human experience but ultimately celebrate our ability to survive. All of that is reflected in Farewell’s seamless blend of country, blues and jazz, co-produced by Jesse Waldman at Vancouver’s Redlight Sound. It marks the end of a long creative journey that included Lee needing to adapt to using hearing aids, but on the other hand it’s the beginning of an entirely new musical identity.
The late John Mann of Spirit of the West once compared Monica Lee to Joni Mitchell and it’s easy to agree after hearing her ability to balance confessional subject matter with vivid observations of everyday life. Farewell is a statement both beautiful and soul stirring, a testament to following one’s muse, as well as Lee’s undeniable, natural talent.