Gently finger-picked guitar is the primary accompaniment for ‘These Days‘, the latest single from Canyon City which is the indie-folk project of singer-songwriter Paul Johnson. It’s taken from Canyon City’s new release ‘Dear Earth, Love, Moon’ which imagines a series of missives from the Moon to the Earth. Here’s the surprise – that relationship is a metaphor for Johnson’s emotions and thoughts as he anticipated the birth of his daughter. As he explains it “Instead of myself or my relationships being the central focus, my daughter was on my mind while I was writing. I ended up thinking more about the collective this time – focusing on the commonalities in our experience of what it means to be alive.”
Johnson envisions the relationship between the Moon and the Earth as that of two old friends, intrinsically attached to each other. “The Moon is rooting for the best version of the Earth, but also understands that it’s going through some very dark times.” Of all the current Dark Times we’re experiencing – and it is quite the list right now, is it not? – it’s the long term looming threat of Climate Change that is the key to the album.
Paul told Americana UK a little about today’s song saying “‘These Days’ takes a compassionate view, shining a light on the dramatic and uncharacteristic shifts happening in our world because of climate change. Especially with my daughter just being born, I often feel dread, frustration, anger, hopelessness and guilt over what’s happening. But I wanted to create a space in contrast to these feelings, leaving the listener with a sense of compassion instead. So for ‘These Days,’ I approached the Earth as if an old friend who has lost its way, and the Moon is reaching out with compassion to say, ‘Hey, you seem off these days. You’re not acting like yourself. Is there anything I can do? How can I help?’”
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Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan’s music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That’s not much to ask, is it?