Ask any artist why they make music and chances are they’ll say that, at least in part, it’s a form of therapy. That was definitely true for Darcy Windover as he made his latest album whose title,Cope, pretty much says it all.
For the Toronto-based singer/songwriter originally from Sarnia, Ontario, the new 10-song collection is the summation of a difficult period, encapsulated in the album’s first single “How To Be Lonely,” proceeds from which are being donated to Cam's Kids, offering support to youth struggling with anxiety. Windover had previously entered the song in the 2017 edition of CBC’s Searchlight contest where it earned a more than respectable showing among the thousands of other entries. That momentum helped Windover complete Cope a year later with producer John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, NQ Arbuckle) and his trusted band, including co-writer and duet partner Stacey Dowswell. Together, they built on the foundation of “How To Be Lonely” with songs that look at the causes and effects of mental illness from various perspectives.
But what perhaps is most impressive about Cope is its immediate sonic appeal, particularly for anyone who appreciates classic Neil Young and Tom Petty records. As a songwriter, Windover is cut from the same cloth, emphasizing melody, hooks and atmosphere above all else, with a little twang for good measure. Sure, melancholy is unavoidable, but never as a distraction from pure songwriting craftsmanship. With a wealth of experience embedded in it, Cope marks the formal arrival of a major voice within the Canadian roots rock scene.