Sudburian Kevin Closs' new album, “In Deep,” certainly isn't his first.
The veteran folk singer-songwriter, who originally hails from Manitoulin Island, has actually now released 12 albums in total.
But his latest album is a little different.
For the past four years, Closs has been working aboard small adventure cruise ships with Company G Adventures in the Arctic and Antarctic, taking passengers out on Zodiac boats, and at night, entertaining in the ships' tiny bars.
At least in part, “In Deep” chronicles the adventures he's had aboard these ships.
“Over the time I've spent on the ships in the polar regions, which is a total of 12 months, I've been just writing instrumental music, writing songs and taking photographs of my experiences,” Closs said.
“This CD is the result of that.”
You might remember hearing about Closs' Arctic adventures last year, when he released a demo version of one of his songs, “A Blue Whale's Lament.” The song is written from the point of view of a whale.
He recorded that demo in the ship's forward storage area while the boat was anchored in the Beagle Channel off of the southern tip of South America, and you can hear ambient noises of the ship in the background.
Although some people say they actually prefer the original demo version of the tune, Closs properly recorded it.
“It was a little lo-fi,” he said.
The single on the album, “Song of Svalbard,” chronicles one of Closs' trips in the Scandanavian Arctic.
“I also have a couple of guitar instrumentals,” Closs said. “I have a piece called 'In Deep,' just a long guitar piece I composed. It was really inspired by Svalbard and Norway in particular.”
Closs said he took most of 2019 off of his cruise ship job to finish the album. He plans to head back out onto the high seas next month, and has asked for as many contracts as possible in 2020.
It's partly thanks to Closs' fans that he was able to finish his 12th album. A crowdfunding campaign brought in $9,000. He also received an Ontario Arts Council grant that assisted him with the project.
“It turned out great,” he said. “I had more than enough to record, to hire the musicians. I worked with a producer this time.
“It was really great to get the CD done and not be stressed about how I'm going to get this done.”
Those who attended Northern Lights Festival Boréal Sunday evening may have caught Closs' main stage performance.
If you were one of those lucky people and want to hear more — or if you're just intrigued — you can stream “In Deep” and all of Closs' music on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and other streaming platforms.
His CDs can be purchased at his website, kevinclossmusic.com, or at BandCamp.