“Headlines” by Charlotte Cornfield

Charlotte Cornfield High in the Minuses
Photo credit: Angela Lewis

Charlotte Cornfield has the released the first single from her upcoming album High in the Minuses out on October 29 via Next Door Records in Canada and Polyvinyl / Double Double Whammy everywhere else.

“Headlines”, a driving track with an earworm chorus that belies the anxiety permeating its lyrics. Of the song’s accompanying video, Cornfield explains: “I wanted to express the joy of seeing people, of those little interactions that happen throughout the day that I missed so much in the last year and a half. When I wrote this song I was spending so much time walking alone through my neighbourhood, and I wanted the video to take place on the same streetscape but be the antidote to that solitude. To me the city is so much about the people in it. Adrienne McLaren Devenyi, the director, came up with this arc of me exchanging objects with people as I move through the neighbourhood and that just created a beautiful jumping off point for these interactions. We had so much fun making this video, and it was such a gift to see everybody.”

Though the songs of Highs In The Minuses are highly personal, Cornfield wanted their sonic quality to convey the communal, aleatoric energy of live performance. With this in mind, she and the band allowed their psychic connection to convey the emotional interconnectedness that comes with stories of heartbreak, self-discovery, and new love. Cornfield (guitar, piano, vocals), bassist Alexandra Levy (Ada Lea), and drummer Liam O’Neill (Suuns) convened in Montreal at the studio of Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen), whom Cornfield had originally met through a musician’s residency he founded at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. In just five days, with minimal takes and overdubs — and with contributions from guitarist Sam Gleason (Tim Baker) and Stars singer Amy Millan — they set Cornfield’s vivid mini-memoirs to an earthen folk-rock symphony.

Throughout Highs In The Minuses, it’s tempting to think of Cornfield as a narrator, given the autobiographical nature of many of the songs, but this framing discounts her deep consideration of the listener. She’s not broadcasting absolute truths but rather inviting us to feel alongside her, to acknowledge the raw, shambolic commonality found in individual experiences. Like David Berman and John Prine, Cornfield’s lyrics ring with precision — a rhythmic, poetic clarity that may devastate the heart or tickle the ribs in a simple turn of phrase.

Pre-order High in the Minuses HERE