After Brenda Weiler's sister took her own life last October, the songwriter told WW
that her "first reaction was that I was never going to play music again." At that time (in March), Weiler had started to come back to the live stage, a move that she admitted was incredibly painful. So, I was happy to recently receive an uplifting note from the folk troubadour. In it Weiler writes that she has once again started to work on her music, crediting the summer sun for giving her the strength to continue. "Being able to feel the warm air on my skin these past couple of weeks has filled me with strength and hope," she writes. "It's taken me almost nine months to even utter that word—hope." Weiler continues:
I've been spending so much time reflecting, meditating, practicing, writing, journaling, volunteering, walking... that I forget what my job is and has been for the last 10 years. Sometimes I feel like a completely different person—like I never made a living from touring and playing for people. But I guess that's just part of it. In a lot of ways, I truly am a different person. It would be sad if I wasn't after all that has happened.
Weiler has spent the last 10 years, and five albums, singing beautifully melancholic songs about the little losses of everyday life. Now, though, she will be translating a great loss into song, something, she says, she is struggling with.
[Writing has been] good and bad, as it makes me face so many difficult feelings and memories. I have, as of now, 14 new songs that have yet to be recorded (or properly titled, as is my way). I am starting to think about possibly recording this winter—though that, as with most things in my life these days, is up in the air. I have been in talks with Darren Jackson already (of Kid Dakota and the Hopefuls) about possibly working together again, as we did with my last album.
Weiler fans might remember Jackson as the second voice on the beautiful duet "Honolulu, Minnesota" from 2003's Cold Weather
(Virt). Jackson, who resides in Weiler's former home of Minneapolis, is an adept musician who, as Kid Dakota, has made beautiful music from his own pain and loss. The cause of the duo's second collaboration should never be celebrated, but the album that results from it should be highly anticipated, as the healing powers of Weiler's songwriting can only grow from this. Here's to the summer sun.
WW's Brenda Weiler Q&A: wweek.com/editorial/3220/7352/
Brenda Weiler: brendaweiler.com
Virt Records: virtrecords.com
Kid Dakota: kiddakota.com