If hard times are the singer-songwriter’s driving force, then Canada’s Christa Couture has had her share, and some more. She lost a leg to bone cancer, and twice has had the tragedy of losing a child. Here she is with a break-up album, fuelled by her divorce and informed by a restless spirit. ‘I keep hoping for something to finally take a hold/until that hold is all I know, I will hit the road’ she sings, while telling us that the album spans ‘drives across Canada, the States, Germany and the Netherlands’. Trying to find ‘Solid Ground’ and asking herself, ‘Am I alone in this?’
She’s not alone – one public funding campaign saw admirers raise $25, 000 for her prosthetic leg – and when she sings in her homespun, quirky voice it’s hard not to be a little bit in love wither her. And anyway, this album isn’t a misery memoir, it’s a recounting, in a folky, country sort of way, of a reflective wistfulness that’s delivered with a light touch and an easy accessibility.
‘Separation/Agreement’ sees her hallway filled with the boxes of accumulated married life, but she sings of it being no one’s fault. On ‘Lovely Like You’, a kooky sort of tea dance meets hoedown, she yearns in the first flush of a new attraction. ‘There are bees in my belly and they’re buzzing.’ Long Time Leaving is an uplifting record.