FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2019
Contemporary Celtic Singer-Songwriter Heather Dale Releases 20th Album: Sphere
Eclectic Crossover Album Inspired by #MeToo and Time’s Up Rewrites Male-centric Legends with a Message of Female Empowerment
TORONTO, ON — Amphis Music announces the launch of contemporary Celtic musician Heather Dale’s latest album Sphere, a diverse compilation of 11 tracks that push the boundaries of the genre crossover by seamlessly weaving together folk, ambient electronica, and world music. Sphere marks Dale’s landmark 20th album release — timed to coincide with her 20th anniversary as a professional recording musician — and will be officially unveiled at the album release concert at the historic Church of the Holy Trinity on May 4, 2019 at 7:30pm.
“Every song on Sphere was influenced by current events; I felt the need to embed a message of inclusivity, equality, and respect in these songs,” says Dale. “Rather than perpetuate the stereotypical figure of the ‘damsel in distress,’ the narratives in this album highlight folk heroines who speak their minds, stand up for themselves, and rebuild their lives after upheaval. They’re easily-dismissed stories, but they shouldn’t be. This album is deeply personal but was written for those who are willing to share their voice and vulnerabilities, as well as their strengths.”
Toronto-based Dale has created a national and international following with her unique sound. Praised as an “unabashed and uninhibited romantic who has found her voice and her musical wings” (Toronto Star), the multitalented artist has gone from singing at folk clubs in Ontario to performing original songs on tour across North America, Europe, and Australia. Her work brings together an empowering feminist message with the grace and chivalry of a bygone era.
Drawing inspiration from her first tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2018, Sphere is imbued with the fundamental beauty of those mountains, coastal roads and deserts. The resulting album is an exquisite exploration of lush melodies intermingled with swoops of musical drama — Dale’s aptitude for storytelling is evident in the imaginative visions she creates. She brings to the foreground the dreamier, mythical aspects of the traditional Celtic genre, reviving beguiling legends, histories, and fantasies through her poetic lyricism.
Dale will be joined on stage at the Church of the Holy Trinity by the Amphis Chamber Strings, featuring arrangements by long-term collaborator Ben Deschamps, Amanda Penner and Felix Flores on violin, and Leanne Wright on cello. Jazz percussionist John Stadtlander from Thunder Bay rounds out the ensemble. On the recording, collaborators also included early music specialist Ben Grossman (Loreena McKennitt, Tafelmusic), Maple Blues Award-winning drummer Jim Casson, and Canadian producer Dave MacKinnon.
Highlights of Sphere include the intense folk-rock “Three Axes,” which illustrates a standoff between a Viking and her warring neighbours. “Triumphant Return” is a powerful feminist take on the Greek tale of Penelope and incorporates Bollywood-inspired strings. “Shipwright” and “Lark and Dove” make a return to the familiar with the Celtic sounds of tin whistle, hammered dulcimer, and mandolin. The final track, “Leaf,” closes with gentle field recordings of New Zealand birdsong, recently experienced by Dale and Deschamps. All of Sphere will be performed at the album release concert, along with selections from Dale’s earlier albums.
Sphere can be streamed on Spotify and is now available at heatherdale.com.
Tickets to the Sphere album release concert are from $20 and on sale at: heatherdale.com.
About Heather Dale (heatherdale.com)
A Canadian recording artist with Celtic roots, Heather Dale deftly transcends the limits of both Celtic balladeers and folk singer-songwriters. She finds contemporary themes within old material, and fuses folk traditions with blues, jazz, and world music influences. Often compared to Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan, Dale’s unique vocals are paired with more than a dozen folk instruments in live performances with multi-instrumentalist Ben Deschamps and the Amphis Chamber Strings. Dale has released 15 studio albums, five live albums, three songbooks, and a full-length musical theatre work based on King Arthur legends titled “Queens of Avalon.” A breathtaking writer, Dale’s poetry has been featured in seven novels written by New York Times bestselling authors, S.M. Stirling and E.K. Johnston. Her hit song, “Mordred’s Lullaby” has been viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube.
About Amphis Music (amphismusic.com)
Amphis Music is an independent Canadian record label, founded by Canadian recording artist Heather Dale in 1998. The company focuses on great music made without concession to fashion or advertising, and prioritizes the vision and strength of independent musicians and industry pioneers.
LISTING INFORMATION Amphis Music presents
Heather Dale’s Sphere Release Concert
Date: May 4, 2019 at 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: From $20
Venue: Church of the Holy Trinity
(Beside the CF Toronto Eaton Centre)
19 Trinity Square
Toronto, ON M5G 1B1
Box Office: heatherdale.com