Local singer-songwriter Kelsey Raine is entering the new year with a new track and this time, a new genre.
Starting her career in music at the age of 22 she has dipped into a few genres. From hard rock to pop to experimental electronic projects under the name Alice Awake.
Her new track dropped today (Jan. 11) titled As Long as You Can and is her first crack into Country & Western.
The track came to life after a family member mentioned she should try for a contest calling for new country songs.
"I laughed at it," said Kelsey in our phone interview. "Then thought to myself ‘Kelsey, stop standing in your own way. What if you could write a country song?’ So I tried.”
She did not win the contest, she actually didn't enter but the challenge turned into something bigger.
"Of course, I missed the timeline of the contest and everything, but it was more about seeing what I could do and seeing if I could write something that was a little bit more mainstream and see what people thought and that kind of thing."
To pen and paper she went. Pulling memories and feelings from old heartbreaks and dealing with the problems that come with dating and the struggles of meeting new people during the pandemic. As Long as You Can encompasses the emotion that comes from knowing something you love will eventually leave you. Whether that's due to leaving love in a different country or simply, and more recently, the restrictions on public gatherings.
"I met this guy in Spain and we were like, you know, [long pause] I remember like singing on the train together and knowing I was only going to be there for five weeks ... or when you go to have coffee and you have this amazing connection and then all of a sudden they're like, 'oh sorry, everybody lockdown. You're not allowed to see anybody new or be around anybody again.' Your heart's kind of just torn again."
The new track features Stavley born Cody Hall. The singer-songwriter is relatively new to the music game and when he's not teaching Phys-Ed at his current job in Lethbridge, he is writing and recording to prepare for his next musical project set to drop in February 2022.
Cody has played with Raine before but never to this extent, he said in our conversation about As Long as You Can.
"Over the years I have had the chance to play different shows with her at the Twin City Saloon and one earlier this summer in Stavely at the rodeo. I guess at one point she heard one of my songs from one of my earlier albums and she said ‘okay, I really want to get him in on this next song’ and she just shot me a message out of the blue and asked if I would be interested. I thought 'yeah, absolutely.’ This is such a cool opportunity to get out there and keep building connections."
As Long as You Can features, in addition to Stavley's Cody Hall, a star-studded and award-rich group of musicians including Juno and multiple CCMA award winner Chris Byrne on bass who has worked with the likes of The Road Hammers, Jason McCoy, George Canyon and Gord Bamford.
Featured as well is drummer Chad Melchert (worked with Gord Bamford, Adam Gregory, Ian Tyson, Corb Lund and Tyler Connoly of Theory Of A Deadman) and CCMA nominated keyboard player Keith Floen.
Available everywhere today As Long as You Can is a fantastic first look into the "country side" of Kelsey Raine.