Photo by Rebecca Wood
Quarantine Diaries: Electro-Pop Virtuoso Lou Canon Is Watching 'You've Got Mail' & Waving To Her Nephew From The Window
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, electro-pop performer Lou Canon, who drops her latest LP, Audomatic Body, on May 29, shares her Quarantine Diary.
Today is Monday, March 23. Life is shifting dramatically from moment to moment. Independently and collectively, we are holding this prickly, anxious feeling.
I, like many others, am trying my best to remain positive. To function in this fragile emotional state. To mute my racing brain. The smallest gestures from a friend or even a stranger are so powerful, so meaningful, so moving. Every other moment I’m brought to tears. I’m trying my best to give support to the people around me. Everyone has been hit so hard, in their own way.
I’m learning to get more comfortable with these everyday anxieties. Slowly processing what all this means. Managing an anticipatory grief when everything around us feels so uncertain.
On this very day, in an alternate universe immune to viruses and pandemics, I was to be in transit from SXSW, on route to the Russian River, north of San Francisco, to film a music video. I would have been recovering from a wild ride in Austin: performances on the fly, late nights, new faces, all of the unexpected wonders that this festival brings. California was carefully prepared—a troop of dancers, extras, state park permits, wardrobe.
And then we all fell ill. Travel from Canada to America became impossible. Plans, excitement, money all infected with insecurity.
Photo by Rebecca Wood
Today had the most unusual start.
I was sipping my morning cup of tea, when my husband pointed out a beautiful red cardinal sitting at the window. I jumped up to see and then fell to my knees.
I've thrown out my back. For the first time in my life. It seized up, strangled me. I was frozen in one position, unable to move, hardly able to breathe. Perhaps it’s my body translating grief into physical pain. Or it’s from the eight hours of disinfecting I did the day before. Maybe I am reacting to the discomfort of all the loved ones around me. All the people in my community. Friends and family losing small business, the elderly barely able to get what they need off the shelves at the grocery store, citizens struggling to pay the bills and put food on their tables. All the hardships around the world. Overload.
I’m glued to the couch, looking up at this view. I am fortunate to have a family cottage that normally serves as an escape from city life, but now is a refuge from socialization.
I’m still stuck on the couch. Barely able to move. And I realize there was this journal I’ve been meaning to get to all weekend. But life gets in the way. Saturday, I spent the day at my sister's restaurant. She closed her doors for the first time in 17 years. To wait it out and see. My husband and I went to clear out perishables and bits and bobs; canning, cooking, finding homes for food before it goes to waste.
I turn on a bad rom-com, "You've Got Mail." It plays silently as I write. This is an odd week. My partner is home from work at the hospital. I had convinced him moons ago to take this week off. To help feed the video crew in the Russian River. Instead, we are alone, pickling peppers, freezing tomato sauce and stockpiling booze in anticipation of what’s to come. There are constant conference calls: his hospital discusses the five layers of backup; this person covers this person covers this person and so on. No more visitors allowed for patients. Temperature testing at the entrances. Everything is changing. Being here in the quiet feels like an eerie calm before the storm.
I hear a horn blaring as a car comes slowly crawling down our long driveway. My nephew’s little five-year-old body is perched out of the sunroof. He’s holding a sign he made with his sister. She is squealing with joy and waving from the back seat. We shout to each other through distant windows. Cry. Laugh. And then they drive off. I took a photo that might well be my favorite of 2020.
It's extremely uncomfortable to prepare for an album release during this time [Lou's sophomore album, Audomatic Body, arrives on May 29 via Paper Bag Records]. I’ve spent the last couple years working away, leading up to this moment. Work I should feel excited to share. But it feels indulgent to turn the spotlight onto myself. To ask people to listen, to make space for me, for my work. But art must go on; life must go on. I can only hope somehow it brings some comfort to others.
The Austin performances can wait. The video idea has morphed into an online, user-generated collaboration. Friends, fans, strangers submitting recorded snippets. It’s intimate and inspirational. Honouring a time when we’re isolated and alone, but somehow more together than ever.
It’s in these really tough times when everyday life grounds to a halt ... that we recognize the pieces that matter most. It’s all the things that remain the same during these wild days that will get us through. Our compassion, our strength as a community, our belief in family, our nurturing friendships, our appreciation for nature and art, our ability to be playful. All these values hold us in place as we take it one day at a time.
So stay home, and take good care.
See you on the other side of this.
p.s. Until then...
Photo by Rebecca Wood
If you wish to support our efforts to assist music professionals in need, visit: https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund
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