Kaya Usher has reset.
All This Is – is an homage to that experience.
It’s a keenly-awaited debut album – some thirty years in the making. A collaboration with Kevin Drew (Broken
Social Scene) and two of Usher and Downie’s children, Willo and Lou.
All This Is – is talent heavy.
It has much to say.
At 20, Montreal native Usher met Gord Downie at University, and fell madly in love. Their union would fuel some of the best Tragically Hip songs, like fan anthem Ahead By A Century.
While Downie toured and scored a massive following, Usher stayed home and raised their four kids. By all accounts, no minor role.
A talented lyricist and musician in her own right, Usher would open for Gord by reading her poetry. They sang duets at private functions and Usher loomed large in Downie’s long-term plans for a family band. Their life together was a heady ride of extreme experiences, themes that have made it into All This Is.
That said, the album is sovereign. This is no kiss and tell. Much of it speaks to Usher’s awakening process, which began when she fought breast cancer ten years ago.
The 10 tracks contain haunting melodies and soul-searching lyrics that reflect Usher’s awakening through a Frequency modality she calls The Simplicity Platform. In her songs we encounter the sounds of unraveling, of epiphany, of metamorphosis.
Yet, through the journeying we also (very much) feel and hear Drew. These are robust compositions, with ambient
chords, hypnotic rhythms and elegant cadences. This masterful union is as rich as it is melodious. You will bop along and lose yourself, and all at the same time.
All This Is – is like riding through a storm. It thunders and pours but ultimately leaves you under a broken sky, calm,
breathless, seeking more.
Willo Downie original artworks for the All This Is album.
Subscribe to the Kaya Usher newsletter for music, meditations, behind-the-scenes, footage, interviews, news, and more.