Today we’re introducing you to a natural: a sweet-singing, smooth-playing, deeply soulful modern troubadour whose exceptional folk-pop is about to make him a star attraction far beyond his native Canada. Jeremie Albino was born and raised in the middle of Toronto, but at a young age, he left the metropolis for bucolic Prince Edward County, where he’s worked the land, absorbed the rhythms of rural life, and discovered his true voice. His forthcoming album, HARD TIME, set for release August 9, is a document of that transition – a set of vivid stories from a chronicler of romance, youthful ambition, and the never-ending quest for personal freedom.
“Hard Time” is the third in a run of remarkable singles Jeremie Albino has released over the last twelve months. “Shipwreck,” a simple, heartfelt lament, featured nothing but a rough-strummed acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and the singer’s wail. Follow-up “Last Night,” by contrast, demonstrated that Albino could front a full band with the swagger of a veteran rocker. The bracing, unpretentious “Hard Time” displays both the downcast elegance of “Shipwrecked” and the electricity and muscle of “Last Night.” It’s a demonstration of his versatility and further evidence of the ease with which he inhabits folk and blues. Jeremie Albino slips into musical traditions like they are his birthright – like he’s donning his father’s old coat.
This summer, he’ll take these remarkable songs on the road during his first full North America tour. Albino will share stages with many other fearless folk-rock artists who recognize him as a fellow traveler: St.Paul and The Broken Bones, JD McPherson, Great Lake Swimmers, Mt. Joy, and Dan Mangan, to name a few. The circuit will take Albino, who is a spellbinding live presence, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, and it includes stops in major cities across the continent. However, he’s made sure to bring the music to the little villages where he built his artistry – including a stop in Picton, the closest thing Prince Edward County has to a population center.
Mark Klassen’s witty clip for “Hard Time” could be set in any of a thousand North American towns on the periphery of the big cities. Jeremie Albino plays a car mechanic, suffering the indignities of drudgery and overwork, and dreaming of escape. But he isn’t too beaten down to dance his way through the final verse – and when he addresses the camera, he makes sure he underscores the delicious pugnacity of his lyrics.