After six challenging years that brought serious changes to her life — including divorce, the death of her father and a split from her longtime manager at Nettwerk — celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan is ready for a comeback.
This month, the 46-year-old artist — who has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide — released her eighth studio album, Shine On. An introspective and revealing narrative of life’s struggles, the album also explores how hope, love and self-realization have helped her get through the tough times.
McLachlan says the changes in her life have allowed her to let go of some of the complacencies and comforts that she had grown used to.
“There were so many patterns that had been created with all these relationships — some of which weren’t that healthy — and this was an opportunity to move through that and to grow from those experiences and go 'OK, how do I want the rest of my life to look like?'” she told CBC News on Friday.
Currently in a relationship with former NHL player Geoff Courtnall, McLachlan says she now feels light and positive.
"I want to suck the marrow out of every single day. I want to get the most I can out of life and be the best person I can be and give the most that I can give and have some kind of impact on this earth.”
Dedicated in part to her father, who passed away in 2010 after a long battle with cancer, Shine On exposes feelings of grief and loss in an upfront and direct way — a difference from the metaphorical tone of McLachlan's previous albums.
"How I wish that I could lean upon you now, amidst the chaos and the noise," she sings in Song for my Father. "You have carried me though more than you could know.”
The album is also dedicated to her daughters, India Ann Sushil and Taja Summer. Now 12 and 6, respectively, her children have motivated her, says McLachlan, who split up with their father, drummer Ashwin Sood, in 2008.
"We tried and we suffered and finally recovered," she sings in Brink of Destruction, a song the artist says started off with a familiar breakup theme, but evolved into one about hope and love.
In the attached video, McLachlan tells CBC's Deana Sumanac about her recent struggles and how she is channelling her experiences into artistic growth.
Tune into The National Friday night for Sumanac's full report on McLachlan and her new album Shine On.