The Weather Station’s Favorite Lyricists

Tamara Lindeman released her fourth album as The Weather Station, a self-titled effort, on Oct. 6 through Paradise of Bachelors. Here, the Toronto-based singer-songwriter compiles a Dowsers playlist of her favorite Canadian artists—but she looks beyond the obvious icons (Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, et al.) to shine a light on her many talented but unsung peers in the contemporary Canadian indie scene.

“There is a type of writing I associate with Canadian lyricists, and specifically with those in my community.  A habit of asking questions—of ambition and curiosity in what a song can say and what it can address; philosophy over romance; a specificity of detail; a richness of language; and all delivered with a sort of humility, a conversational approach to the big questions. I think, in a way, Bruce Cockburn may the godfather of this tradition, but you can trace it through bands like The Rheostatics or King Cobb Steelie, or even The Tragically Hip, who were the stadium band all the bros in high school listened to, despite their being led by a shambolic stream-of-consciousness poet who often referenced obscure Canadian history in his lyrics and I don’t think ever said ‘love’ or ‘girl’ in a song. This type of writing coalesced in Toronto as I was coming up, going to shows, becoming a musician, and learning to write myself.

“This playlist encompasses many of the most influential lyricists in my life, most of whom I know or are in my community. But I can honestly say these writers have had as much if not more influence on me as Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn, Joni, or Dylan, all of whom you already know anyways.

“Shout-out to the many albums from this scene that are not on Spotify (i.e., Forest of Tears by One Hundred Dollars, You Can’t Take Anyone by Castlemusic, etc.).”—Tamara Lindeman, a.k.a. The Weather Station