Many artists use their work to help guide them through difficult, and often traumatic, experiences, and Alberta-based country and roots musician Matt Patershuk is no different. After his 26-year-old sister, Clare, died in a head-on collision with a drunk driver, Patershuk turned to song to make sense of the tragedy, ultimately creating his newest record, I Was So Fond of You.

The album is both a tribute to his sister and a catalogue of his feelings during his grieving, evident in the raw, passionate lyrics, teeming with metaphors about death, powerlessness and senseless loss.

He enlisted the help of Nashville-based producer Steve Dawson, who also helmed his debut album, Outside the Lights of Town, as well as folk singer-songwriter Ana Egge, whose delicate vocals provide a necessary balance to Patershuk’s signature gruffness.

Patershuk is also using the album as a way to give back to some of his sister’s favourite causes — proceeds from the record will go to the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, where his sister worked as a counsellor, the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society and the Clare Patershuk Undergraduate Psychology Travel Fund at the University of Alberta.