On March 3rd, 2023, Toronto’s folk artist Haley Midgette is set to release her second collection of songs, a four-track EP called Artisan Guardian. With lyrics that are a testament to the unpredictable musings of a guarded yet curious heart, Haley’s journey is tender and heartfelt, tragic at times due to its relatability, as she takes a deep and honest dive inwards to make sense of how things manifest outwardly in the world around her.
The listening experience is built around melodies equal parts elegant and catchy, enriched by simple, poetic lyrics that combine vulnerability, compassion, and authentic awareness. With a wide spectrum of influences that range from Leonard Cohen to Katy Kirby, the finished product is poised, honest, and deeply moving.
In the title track, “Artisan Guardian,” she personifies part of herself in order to better understand an inner struggle, a device that fans of her previous tune, “No Show,” will smile to recognize. This time, it is accompanied by a muted desperation to explain herself, ostensibly, to a lover. Set against graceful and, at times, joyous melodies, her lyrics convey a painful and acutely self-aware sense of disconnection, and frustrated longing to close a gap between her internal experience and outward presentation.
A creative and personal articulation of something very universal, Artisan Guardian reminds us of the parts of ourselves we struggle to meet with compassion, and the uncomfortable clumsiness and fear of misunderstanding that sharing them with another so often entails.
The EP picks up speed with “Weatherman,” wherein Haley simultaneously finds inner strength and empathy for another as she resolves to neither vilify them nor diminish the danger of their shortcomings. And our journey ends with notes of struggle and surrender, an unorthodox love song about a subject that feels both intimately familiar and other-worldly: her muse.
Haley has once again partnered with Guillermo Saubaste, who produced, engineered, and played bass and percussion on Artisan Guardian, as well as her first EP, Carlaw Ave. Haley looks forward to moving audiences with upcoming intimate live performances of this latest release alongside other original tracks in her rich repertoire, both old and new.