The grey mile lies between places. Murky terrain. You gather your thoughts and assess where you’ve been, where you’re going - peaceful, or unsettling, depending on the day. The grey mile is transition, the landscape of life in between.
From the in-between comes the first record for Canadian singer and songwriter Camille Delean. Ten songs recorded in England and Canada, in collaboration with London’s Ben Walker (Josienne Clarke) and Montreal’s Michael Feuerstack (Snailhouse, Bell Orchestre, the Luyas).
Growing up in small-town Ontario speaking french, Delean's childhood hours were devoted almost entirely to dance, though music permeated everything. Was dance a symptom, or the instigator of a constant need for movement; to see the world from different angles, to not stagnate or anchor? From age seventeen she moved through numerous places—Nashville, Paris, and finally London, where music projects began to take shape.
She met Ben Walker in a London pub, where she was performing her songs for the first time, a-cappella. They would spend the next two years playing together. Gradually they began work on a record, at his house and at Urchin Studios in Hackney.
Life in London was interrupted abruptly. Another relocation, this time to Montreal, led her to Michael Feuerstack, with whom she resumed work on the UK recordings. He would co-produce the remaining sessions, playing numerous instruments himself with contributions from pianist Mathieu Charbonneau (Timber Timbre, Torngat, Avec Pas d'Casque) and violinist Joshua Zubot.
The record features musicians from both sides of the Atlantic who have never met, but a clear and unwavering vision lends it cohesion. Together they create a three-dimensional sound, floating from intimate textures to open air, a distant horizon. Restrained rhythms, ankle-deep piano, weaving guitars. Wind-riding vocals navigate, pedal steel and violin hover. The music is deliberately subtle; firmly rooted in traditional song, but unafraid to veer off the trodden path.
Live performance features a malleable lineup of collaborators according to the location and venue, as a further exploration of the world mapped out in the recordings. A reverie of gathered sounds and geography.