Sarah Smith

The out Canadian songstress is back with a major new album.

If you don’t have Sarah Smith on your radar, you should! The fiercely independent, hardworking musician plays over 300 shows per year in Canada, the US, and Europe, enjoys a dedicated following who counts on her heartfelt output, and will no doubt celebrate the release of her third, and very solid full-length album, 11. The pop-rock singer-songwriter’s latest offering is a bounty of 17 new songs, all about love, life, and seeking the light even in darkness.

The album opener is the upbeat, nostalgic “First Time,” and there are many standout tracks that follow and dig deep into emotional territory, including the toe-tapping “Lay It On the Line” and the catchy pop tune “All Day We Will Sing.” Then there’s the unforgettable, penetrating “Undertow,” a rich and mellow acoustic number that traces the journey from breakup to singlehood on and “island of one.” (The video, filmed on the beautiful lake Huron, Ontario, is linked below.)

Smith’s fine and yet occasionally gritty, soaring vocals are always a pleasure to listen to, as is her deft guitar work in this beautifully produced album that melds pop, rock, blues, roots, and country.

“Even if the world goes too dark, I will find the light,” Smith sings in “Girl.”

“This album sums up the last few years of my life,” Smith says. “Searching for happiness, I came across misery. Wanting to succeed, I discovered how to fail. Trying to balance, I ended up falling. Looking for answers, I found them here all along. And, in all of this, I was able to continually grasp on to hope that life was putting me exactly where I needed to be.”

The album leaves one with a sense of calm, hope, and balance, which is a gift to all of us in these troubled times.

Watch the video for “Undertow:”

Photo: Lani Sanders

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