Nfld. & Labrador

Locked down in a Toronto apartment, an expat Newfoundland couple made an album

Susan Morrissey Wyse and Brent Borland worked at their busy day jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, but making music together helped them stave off boredom.

Have a First Listen to Holding Pattern by Susan Morrissey Wyse with My Other Bag of Cans

Susan Morrissey Wyse and Brent Borland have released an EP called On Sequels. (Submitted by Susan Morrissey Wyse)

Susan Morrissey Wyse and Brent Borland had been living busy lives as expat Newfoundlanders in Toronto, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and locked the city down. 

Confined to their apartment, and seeking to stave off boredom, the couple turned to music. 

"We started working on this [the EP On Sequels] right in the thick of the stay at home order,"  said Morrissey Wyse.  

"This kept our minds active," added Borland.

'You don't get to meet many people'

Morrissey Wyse, originally from St. John's, is working toward a PhD at York University. Borland, from Bishop's Falls, works in construction, and performs and records music under the stage name My Other Bag of Cans.  

Morrissey Wyse said she and Borland were lucky to be kept very busy with their day jobs during Toronto's long stay-at-home periods.   

But Borland said that creating their lo-fi, contemporary folk album On Sequels and being able to record at a neighbourhood recording studio with recording engineer John Dinsmore became a welcome relief.  

"He was one of our only friends we made during the pandemic, because you don't get to meet many people," said Borland. 

Getting back out there 

Now that pandemic restrictions are lifting, Morrissey Wyse is en route to St. John's for a long overdue visit with friends and family. Borland, who joined Morrissey Wyse in Toronto shortly before the pandemic, is planning a few gigs.  

"There's a side of the city I haven't really met yet," said Borland. 

Locked down in Toronto during the pandemic, expat Newfoundlanders Susan Morrissey Wyse and Brent Borland kept themselves busy by making an EP, On Sequels. 21:22

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. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Labrador) on CBC Radio One.  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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