Are You Gone – the first new album in a decade from platinum-selling Canadian artist Sarah Harmer – is a deeply personal and momentous collection of songs motivated by the beauty of life, the urgency of the climate crisis, and the question of loss. Twenty years from her breakout album You Were Here, its spiritual bookend Are You Gone is rousing artistic statement, rich in detail and emotion. First single “New Low” captures the prescient energy of the album – a rollicking, empowering electric guitar-laced call-for-uprising.

“I was seeing more of my public square and many more people out protesting and standing vigil, beyond the usually dedicated Indigenous leaders and social justice activists. I met with Queen’s University students who were organizing to push the university to divest from fossil fuel investments, and then met with the principal of the university. When pressed, he dismissed the idea of divestment largely because he said it wouldn’t make a difference to the fossil fuel industry, and also that sizeable donations and sponsorships made to the university by former students now at oil and gas companies created a ‘grey area’ of policy. The term stuck with me.  Sometimes it’s good to see the nuance of a situation, and sometimes the calls for nuance are just straight-up cop outs. 

I hope this song gets people to their feet, and not only to dance.” – SH