There are a lot of things to love about the city of Vancouver. There’s never any smog, it doesn’t get very cold, there are mountains, we’re right on the ocean, people are attractive and friendly, politics tends to be left-leaning, and there are a lot of different kinds of people living here. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
But hands down, without hesitation, my absolute favourite thing about Vancouver happens around this time of year. Winters here are rainy, grey, and not terribly exciting. But as we approach April, the city transforms into a goddamn fairy wonderland.
Trees all over the city turn pink and redolent with cherry blossoms. These trees are planted all over the city. For a three-week period, pockets of pink explode into fragrant bloom. This, for example, is my street:
So for a few weeks every year, Vancouverites are treated to this impressive display. I love summer, fall has its romantic aspects, but for me there is nothing more magical, more beautiful, than Vancouver in the spring. And the rest of the year is spent waiting for this phenomenon to return. Sometimes, in the doldrums of rainy and uninspiring winter, the thought of these blossoms is the way I keep my spirits up.
And I thought that idea would make for a pretty decent song:
The story in the song is allegorical. The narrator meets a woman in Vancouver in spring. They fall in love, but tragically she is only visiting. She lives most of the year in Brooklyn, but spends summers in Japan with her mother. She times her visit to take a few weeks of vacation in Vancouver, in time for the cherry blossoms. The narrator, stuck in the city year-round, spends the rest of the year waiting for her to return.
All instruments were played by me, including the djembe – there’s a fun story there. My band has a djembe that we use for our live performances. It lives at the bar where we play a weekly gig. Rather than lugging it all the way home to record a 4-minute part, I decided to bring my recording equipment down to the bar and do it there (while people about 15 feet from me were celebrating a birthday party).
Special thanks go to my “musical food tasters” who give me production tips every time I record a new track. The whole thing is a trial and error process for me, and I can hear the progress when I listen to stuff I recorded last year. Eventually I will go into a real studio with these songs, but for right now please enjoy the best that I can do on a budget of zero dollars.
If you like it, share it! Roll down your car windows, turn up your stereo, and get your whole neighbourhood bopping along. See you at the beach!