“Dance like no one’s watching—because they’re probably not.”

Have you ever come across a particular musician, band, song, whatever, that—from the very first note you hear—fits you perfectly, like that hoodie from high school that has fraying cuffs and holes in the armpits but still holds pride of place on your closet shelf because no other article of clothing could ever come close to its comfort; that fills a small hole in your heart you didn’t even know was there; that makes you yell “HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT [blank] BEFORE” so loud you scare the other person in the room, that kindly soul who introduced you to your newfound musical love?

Yeah. Meet Tanya Davis from Halifax. She’s amazing.

A friend showed me her “How To Be Alone” video, below, in the middle of last week. I’ve watched it upwards of twenty times since then; it’s so perfect and beautiful and true that it hurts. If you’ve ever had a broken heart, if you’ve ever had that awful feeling of being totally alone in a crowded room, or of hurting from something you can’t quite name, “How To Be Alone” is a wonderful salve. Even if you’re not familiar with any of those things, it’s still worth watching, because it’s just the right mix of charming and poignant and Canadian and I hope you adore it as much as I do:

In addition to spoken-word stuff like this, Davis has released albums with some great songs like “Art” (another video, also very worth a watch—the rosy cheeks! So cute!), a handful of which you can download from her website; “Gorgeous Morning” is a must-listen for anyone who’s ever had That Job, the one that makes you question your self-worth and life choices and what would really happen if one day you just didn’t get out of bed. I can imagine that some might not care for the aesthetics of Davis’s music, its spareness or her imperfect voice or whatever, but I’ve always had a soft spot for spoken-word/music crossovers and I think it’s lovely. Especially as a sometimes-poet my own self, I admire her deftness with rhythm and rhyme; some of her slant rhymes are absolutely killer, and, okay, “chow-downers”? Genius.

Crap. I want to watch “How To Be Alone” again, right now. It’s the harmonica that gets me every time.


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