How do you come back to yourself? Perhaps it’s important to first understand you have become lost, and admit you’ve veered off path. How then do you begin to piece yourself back together?
This is the journey Gabrielle Shonk, the Juno nominated singer and songwriter, takes us on with her sophomore album, Across The Room, set for release in winter 2023.
It has been five years since her self-titled debut. For this delicate, brimming sophomore offering, Shonk—now on Arts & Crafts—brings herself fully into view. Across The Room is an eleven-track chronicle of the enormity of heartache and hope that comes with endings and new beginnings.
The songs on Across The Room go back to 2018, when Shonk, still wrapped up in the success of her debut, started thinking about a sophomore project. She says some songs on the record began as stowed away writing projects that began in green rooms. Whatever downtime she had during the busy business of touring, Shonk and frequent collaborator and co-writer Jessy Caron (Men I Trust) worked on several new songs together. Out of those sessions emerged “Reminds Me of You,” a wistful, sombre song emanating a familiar feeling of grief when everything reminds you of the love you’ve lost.
On “People Pleaser,” a song tenderly grappling with what happens when you place other people’s needs above your own, and “5 A.M.,” a smooth, jazz inflected track putting Shonk back into the moment of seeing someone from her past for the first time again, something that reverberates in recognition a thousand times over if you’ve ever been so lucky to love hard and feel it even harder when it ends.
Every track on Across The Room began as a feeling. Each was the seed of something Shonk noted down and stashed away for later, once she had felt what she needed to and could reasonably tackle such subject matter later on. Because the process of moving through to move on begins with letting yourself come to terms with a feeling before understanding what really happened. Clarity always comes later.
And that’s the throughline of this sublime sophomore offering. Across The Room, a deeply personal and lucid record, is the result of years of feeling, thinking, and breathing life back into a creative spirit.