“I think I'm gonna make a Dad album,”
Canadian-American songwriter, Rachael Kilgour
, heard herself blurt out one afternoon in an Asheville recording studio. She was in the final days of tracking her EP, Game Changer (2019), and in the final months, as it would turn out, of her father's life. She had just written a new song, Dad Worked Hard.“I hadn't written any other songs about him at that point - I certainly hadn't considered making an entire album in his honour,"
Kilgour reflects. "I had no way of knowing how little time he had left or how much his death would transform me. But when the producer suggested recording Dad Worked Hard for the new EP, I just knew I needed to hold onto it. So I said it: no, I think I’m gonna make a dad album.”
And she did. Kilgour's exquisite fourth full-length collection, My Father Loved Me
, is a tribute to her late father, produced by JUNO Award-winning songwriter, Rose Cousins, and recorded in the senior Kilgour's native Canada. Released on September 22, on the eve of the autumn equinox - a time of year that also happens to mark the anniversary of Kilgour's father's passing - the heartfelt collection of songs beautifully paints a portrait of a man as seen through his daughter's eyes. In the spare, often gutting language for which she is known, Kilgour poses questions about identity, inheritance, and grief, and affirms the value of one ordinary working man's life to an often indifferent world. Created during the period of time spanning her father's dementia diagnosis, his death, and its immediate aftermath, the songs that would become My Father Loved Me were a way for Kilgour to keep pace with her shapeshifting grief. Kilgour decided to record the album in he father's home country, Canada, and found producer Rose Cousins acted as both a valuable guide to the Canadian music scene and a worthy co-creator in this labour of love. Recorded with an icy Toronto February as their backdrop, the two gathered at Union Sound Company in 2022 to begin tracking with engineer Chris Stringer, along with Canadian musicians Dean Drouillard (electric guitar), Joshua Van Tassel (percussion/synth), and Devon Henderson (bass). “unapologetic lyrics” (Rolling Stone) and “master crafted indie folk” sensibilities (Billboard) are on full display in this latest collection of songs. Read more about the heartfelt details of My Father Loved Me Like her father, Kilgour is a hard worker. She comes by her considerable skills honestly, honing her craft over the past decade in listening rooms, festivals, concert halls, and recording studios, and picking up accolades along the way. Kilgour first attained notoriety outside her native Duluth, MN as the grand prize winner of the 2015 international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest. She has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at the Sundance Film Festival. Her oft-noted here
. To mark the release of My Father Loved Me, Kilgour will be playing a string of shows across her father's home province of Ontario, kicking off this Thursday (October 5) in Toronto. See below for full details, and watch the new video for the aptly-titled album highlight, Ontario, here.