Music

Listen to 2 songs from Gord Downie's final solo recording, Away is Mine

The album will contain 'the final 10 songs Gord sang before he passed away' and will be released Oct. 16

The album will contain 'the final 10 songs Gord sang before he passed away' and will be released Oct. 16

Gord Downie's final solo album will be released Oct. 16 from Arts & Crafts Music. (David Bastedo)

When Gord Downie's solo album Introduce Yerself was released in 2017, just 10 days after his death, it was a deeply personal farewell — to family, to friends, to fans — a final gift from the man who had already given us so much. 

It turns out he wasn't done. 

On Oct. 16, Downie's final solo recording, Away is Mine, will be released, a collection of 10 songs written and recorded in the summer of 2017 at the Tragically Hip's storied studio in Bath, Ont. On it, we hear Downie staring down his mortality like never before, an affecting, poignant final statement from a man who was so good at seizing the moment. 

Away is Mine will be released Oct. 16. (Arts & Crafts)

Each song is lovingly arranged by producer Nyles Spencer, the Bath studio manager and producer for albums from both Downie (Introduce Yerself, Secret Path) and the Hip (Man Machine Poem, Now for Plan A). What makes it even more special is that fans will get to hear those 10 songs in both electric and acoustic versions, the latter stripping away almost everything but the guitar in order to leave Downie's voice floating in your ears. 

The album features guitarist (and Downie's "oldest Toronto friend") Josh Finlayson, who co-wrote the album and steered it into completion, according to a press release from Arts & Crafts, the label releasing the album. It also features Travis Good of the Sadies on fiddle, mandolin and guitar, as well as Dave "Billy Ray" Koster and Downie's son, Louis, on drums.  

"This won't be his last release, but these are the final 10 songs Gord sang before he passed away. The last time he ever sang into a mic," Finlayson and brother Patrick Downie wrote in a joint statement. "That's pretty special to us."

The first two songs provide a glimpse of what's to come.

"Hotel Worth" features Downie over an atmospheric arrangement from Spencer, punctuated by the distinct guitar of Good.

"Useless Nights" is a more straightforward mellow rock song, with Downie pleading to be saved from the "useless nights," singing lines "everybody needs it, needs to be understood" with the weight and emotion that he was known for throughout his career. You can stream it here .

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