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Sarah Harmer talks her new album and her first visit to the Nickel City since the pandemic

Multi-award-winning platinum-selling artist perform at Collège Boréal on May 11 
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The multi-award-winning platinum-selling musician is planning to perform at the College Boréal on May 11 at 8 p.m.

After more than a decade, Canadian musician Sarah Harmer released her sixth album Are You Gone in 2020 and now that the pandemic has subsided somewhat, the multi-award-winning platinum-selling musician returns to Sudbury to perform at College Boréal on May 11.

Harmer was born and raised in Burlington before moving to Kingston, where she spent the past 25 years. She’s been a musician for more than two decades and she’s garnered thousands of followers over the years on her social media

After taking a break for more than a decade from album producing, Are You Gone was created to reflect a lot of the experiences that surround the year of 2020. Despite 2020 being a year of isolation, it has brought out the inherent human need for connection and how society has been able to do so through means of technology as well as activism, she told Sudbury.com in an interview. 

Being a climate activist herself, Harmer said Are You Gone includes themes of life, loss and the urgency of the climate crisis. 

“We have a very small window of time to change our style of living, to get off of fossil fuels to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We're in an incredibly dire moment right now,” Harmer said regarding the state of the environment. 

And while Are You Gone touches on climate activism, it also is an album dedicated to experiences of losing loved ones. 

“There are a couple of songs on the album written for dearly departed friends and around the idea of the impermanence of life and how our realities are always shifting and changing,” Harmer said.

The album unfolds like a story, starting with the song ‘St. Peter’s Bay’ that acts as an opening frame and sets the tone and essence for the rest of the album. The song ‘New Low’ is the first single of the album and has a more urgent message attached to it.

“‘New low’ is a song kind of about the age that we're in right now. We're maxing out living in the world and we're not respecting all of the life that underpins human life. And so it's kind of about people standing up and protesting and really pushing for change for climate solutions and basically, reverence for the planet,” Harmer said. 

The message she is trying to tell her audience is the need for community activism and stepping up for rights and protecting the environment.

Harmer was in Parry Sound prepping for a concert tonight when she spoke to Sudbury.com. This is the first time in two years she’s had the chance to go on tour since the pandemic started. She spent the last six weeks traveling around western Canada, as well as parts of the United States. She is now touring around Ontario for a few shows, hitting the stage at Collège Boréal on May 11.

Tickets are priced at $61.54 and can be purchased here. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. 

Her music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, and SoundCloud. Keep up with her social media here

Eden Suh is a new media reporter at Sudbury.com.