Good Fortune Assembly doubles-down on the poppy soft touch of Dan Edmonds.
In some parts of the country, trees are blossoming, mercifully, signaling the arrival of Spring. In Toronto, the cherry blossoms at High Park — an annoyingly popular destination in the before times — are fenced up for the second year in a row to deter visitors but their growth can be viewed via a livestream. Snow, however, is in the forecast this week.
Early Spring is a time of awkward transitions. Like flowering trees, we shyly shed our winter layers and reveal how well we have weathered the cruelest months. We stand on the boundary of death and rebirth: hope is in the air but things often feel too bright. On “The Morning” from Dan Edmonds’ Good Fortune Assembly, ensemble member Luka Kuplowsky perfectly describes this muddled emotional state, singing, “Spring is here to renew the cherry blossom blues.”
Edmonds and his all-star team of contributing vocalists (including Kuplowsky, Lydia Persaud, Dorothea Paas, Caitlin Woelfle-O’Brien (Blunt Chunks), Christopher Shannon (Bart), and Adrian Underhill) sing a lot about change on Good Fortune Assembly. In the past, there’s good times at an Ethiopian restaurant (“Wass II”) but also miscommunication (“I Wish I Could Be Open”) and tears (“The Morning”). The present is spent reflecting and trying to let go of regrets. In the final track, “Perfection Doesn’t Exist,” Edmonds seems to come to a moment of understanding and realizes that we are all flawed and that there can be beauty in change after all.
Good Fortune Assembly doubles-down on the soft touch of Edmonds’ poppy 2019 record Softie. Alongside the aforementioned vocalists, Edmonds’ band also features Joseph Shabason (saxophone), Anh Phung (flue), Eliza Niemi (cello) and so many more. Together, they make the worlds they occupy feel dream-like even though lyrically they are far from it. Their collective tenderness is sustaining as we stagger our way forward into another season and whatever it may throw at us.