Nfld. & Labrador First Listen

N.L. folk duo Quote the Raven can't keep still

Have a First Listen to new album Can't Hold the Light, written on the road

Posted: November 04, 2021

Quote the Raven is Jordan Coaker and Kirsten Rodden-Clarke. They wrote the songs on Can't Hold the Light while touring Canada and the U.S. (Submitted/Stephen Green )

The coronavirus pandemic shut down travel in early 2020, but Newfoundland folk duo Quote the Raven already had its sophomore album, Can't Hold the Light, in the works from all the travel they'd logged before COVID-19 

"We toured all over Canada.… We actually wrote songs in almost every province that we were in," Quote the Raven's Jordan Coaker recently told CBC News.

The duo even wrote some of the tracks in Nashville and collaborated with musicians Andrew Waite, Nick Earle and Jessica Pearson.

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"You learn different writing skills.… There's just so many different things that can come from each person that you write with," said Kirsten Rodden-Clarke. 

Rodden-Clarke and Coaker wrote the song Through the Night with Nova Scotia blues musician Charlie A'Court after having supper at his house. Coaker said there are a few true stories in the song, including one about his mother trying to turn left in a roundabout.

"It's all about how you just kind of absentmindedly get through life sometimes," he said. 

Backstage selfie: Chris Kirby, Craig Follett, Coaker and Rodden-Clarke recently toured Arts & Culture centres across Newfoundland. (Submitted/Kirsten Rodden-Clarke)

In October, Quote the Raven toured Newfoundland, playing all the Arts & Culture centres on the island with fellow musicians Chris Kirby and Craig Follett. Rodden-Clarke said it was a dream come true for the band.

"It was incredible.… It was just so magical."

The band has also been nominated for four 2021 MusicNL awards, including folk/roots artist/group of the year, and the Ron Hynes songwriter of the year award. 

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Can't Hold the Light is Quote the Raven's second full-length album. (Submitted/album design by Aaron Bishop)

The musicians are both itching to get back on tour outside Newfoundland and Labrador as soon as possible.

"As soon as we can, we're going to hit the road again," said Coaker.

"We're going to be gone for a very, very long time. So the plan is just to keep touring and keep writing and keep playing amazing shows and hope that the audiences enjoy them," said Rodden-Clarke.

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us, wam@cbc.ca, and tell us about it. 

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. NT on CBC Radio One. 

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Paula Gale speaks with Kirsten Rodden-Clarke and Jordan Coaker about how the album came together  19:10

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paula Gale
Host-producer

Paula Gale is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One, based in St. John's. She's been a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than 20 years. Her email is paula.gale@cbc.ca