Emily Haines opens up about 'Choir of the Mind'

Emily Haines
Emily Haines' new solo album, 'Choir of the Mind,' is out on Sept. 15, 2017. (Julie Booth/Last Gang Records)
Interview: Emily Haines
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"It's been a busy decade since my last solo record," Emily Haines jokes.

Haines, known for her work as the front person of Metric and with the band Broken Social Scene, is gearing up to release her first solo album in a decade: Choir of the Mind is set to come out on Sept. 15, 2017.

"It's funny — when the time strikes, it's just the time," Haines says, describing the gap since her last solo effort, 2006's Knives Don't Have Your Back. "I found myself realizing, 'Of course, this is what happens every decade, the moment I need to deliver this to anyone who needs it.' … This is just really about picking up where we left off and looking at, for me personally and for all of us who are kind of in this together, what's been happening over the past decade. A lot!"

Haines says she is always writing songs, and sometimes she's not sure where a song fits within her catalogue — a Metric song, a solo song or simply a personal exercise — until the song is fleshed out. "Fatal Gift," for example, was originally released on Soundcloud as a Metric demo before Haines thought it a better fit for Choir of the Mind. "It's a meditation on the consumer culture that we've all kind of bought into," Haines says of the track. "And by 'us all,' I'm speaking about what I see in my life and my friends and my community — but no matter how you turn it, you always seem to end up trying to get your hands on some object that signifies your success or the goal. It's just so interesting to see how even with the most abstract artistic endeavors, somehow you end up feeling like you're chasing the same dream. So it's just kind of a meditation on that and the idea that things you own, they own you. Be careful — if you turn everything that you care about into an object that you can never be without … look out, you could end up being a hoarder."

Overall, Haines hopes the new album will resonate with her longtime fans. "I'm trying to create something of value that hopefully people who have been listening to me all this years, it will help them on whatever the hell is going on in their lives. We're definitely in it together," she says. "I just hope this album gives people a sense of respite and of breath and that it's of value."


Emily Haines - official site

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