Coco Love Alcorn has always followed her spirit, but never so literally as with her latest album, Wonderland. The songs spring from her personal journey, but true to her nature, Coco offers a universal interpretation that invites all listeners to jump in and sing along.
During a 5 year break from heavy touring to raise her daughter Ellie, Coco began working on a new album. She wanted to explore songwriting from a new perspective. Coco was curious to see what would happen if she put down her guitar and wrote with just her voice. She began a journey of layering vocals and rhythms on a 5 track looper. In the fall of 2014 she released a video of herself performing one of these first looper layered songs, ‘The River’.
Something amazing and unexpected happened, the video started to spread across the internet and into the world of community choirs. These choirs started to learn Coco's looper arrangement and perform The River in their own concerts. Coco has always loved group singing and encouraging anyone who wants to sing to do so, but this grassroots spread of 'The River' was a complete surprise. To date there are about 20 choirs singing 'The River' across Canada, the States and even in the UK.
As this was happening, Coco was continuing to write and record the songs for this album. She also continued sharing songs online, performing them live and in turn let the listeners shape what this album became. As her new music was inspiring choirs to sing her songs, these choirs in turn were inspiring Coco. And as Coco traveled across Canada performing between recording and home time, these new songs became infused with the spirit of connection. Without choirs grabbing a hold of The River, and fans already connecting so deeply with her new material, this would have been a completely different album.
Just like her career - which has spanned over 20 years, 10 albums, cross-canada tours, collaborations, festival appearances, award nominations and notable success in TV and film licensing - creating this album has been a journey. And it took someone with a spirit like Coco's to navigate this path.
"Throughout my career I have explored across many genres, collaborations and projects, taking a windy path to get to here. But I have loved every step of my journey and trusted my inner curiosity to take me where it wanted to go. I always thought my end game was to invent a new genre or create a brand new sound, to somehow mash it all elegantly together.
It wasn’t till I took a step back and a break from touring that a new idea came. After all those years of thinking I was chasing down a sound it turns out I was searching for the right feeling. That feeling is connection; connection with the listener, the moment, the music and the spirit.
Everything I’ve ever done has led me to here. To Wonderland, a collection of songs that are an invitation to connect, an invitation to sing, and an invitation to myself to dig deeper than ever before." ~ Coco Love Alcorn
“Coco is the ultimate musical spark plug... an electrical connector through which the creative energy flows. In my 30 years of touring around the world, I have never seen another performer able to bring people together like Coco does.” - James Keelaghan - Artist Director, Summerfolk and renowned Canadian singer/ songwriter
newest album ~ wonderland
Coco Love Alcorn returns with the accidental choral music of Wonderland (Sept 16, 2016)
It's April 2014. After years of relentless touring, singer-songwriter Coco Love Alcorn has left city life and taken almost 4 years away from the tour circuit to raise her daughter Ellie. Disconnected from other musicians, Coco has been experimenting writing songs with a 5 track looper, layering vocal tracks on top of each other in real time. As she gets the hang of the technique required to build songs by sampling herself she crafts a soulful song called "The River". Excited about this new direction, Coco films herself performing the gospel-tinged track in her bedroom and posts the magnetic performance on youtube.
The River video quickly spreads like a wildfire on social media and, before long, a community choir director in Vancouver named Karla Mundy has arranged the layers of loops for a stage full of singers. Within a year the song is being sung by well over 1000 people across 3 countries. It's an aha moment for Coco who realizes that she has accidentally written choral music. When her new record Wonderland lands September 16, 2016, the charismatic singer will be performing with choirs across Canada.
Fearless and versatile, Coco Love Alcorn has worked in soul, jazz, folk, blues, R&B, pop, rock, country, hip-hop, classical, electro - even children’s music. She's written, recorded, and performed with everyone from Matt Andersen to Valdy and Joel Plaskett to Loudon Wainwright but it wasn't until she became a mother and took a step back that a new direction came in to focus.
"Everything I’ve ever done has led me here, to Wonderland, a collection of songs that are an invitation to connect, an invitation to sing, and an invitation to myself to dig deeper than ever before", Coco says.
This sound of layered soulful vocals and message of joyful spirit connection form the foundation of Coco's new musical home. This is more than just another record, Wonderland marks the start of a new project which is redefining Alcorn's career and will arch over multiple albums. #spiritsessions
"After all those years of thinking I was chasing down a sound it turns out I was searching for the right feeling. That feeling is connection."
For those who have experienced Coco's contagiously joyful and improv-heavy shows, her new musical direction seems like a natural extension of her generous energy.
"Everyone has a spirit and music is a universal language that can speak to the spirit. So with the human spirit as my muse, I have written songs that are very simple yet come from a very deep place", Coco explains.
Coco borrowed from the traditions of gospel, soul and folk to craft the songs on Wonderland. Tastefully produced by Andy Sheppard (Find the Others), this organic-sounding record is packed with music that is melodic, raw and vibrant that draws the listener in. The album ranges from intimate moments to celebratory ones while remaining soulful all the way through. Wonderland feels eerily familiar and entirely fresh at the same time.
Alcorn’s career has arched across 10 albums, many tours and collaborations, notable success in TV and film licensing, and over two decades. Wonderland is her proudest work to date and also marks the beginning of her new direction. Coco is passionate about writing and singing spirit songs for all and creating as many opportunities for connecting through the joy of singing as possible.
“Coco is the ultimate musical spark plug...an electrical connector through which the creative energy flows. In my 30 years of touring around the world, I have never seen another performer able to bring people together like Coco does.” - JamesKeelaghan-ArtistDirector, Summerfolk and renowned Canadian singer/songwriter