New album “MUSIC FOR HORSES” out October 4, 2024

Today, Canadian songwriter Christo Graham releases the first single, “If I Don’t Leave Now” off of his forthcoming album Music For Horses out October 4 through Toronto-based record label We Are Busy Bodies. 

“If I Don’t Leave Now” is about pulling yourself away from somewhere or someone when all you want to do is stay, and trusting that if you move forward you might come back around. My family and I have done a lot of driving and moving in the last few years and when we’re still it’s easy to want to stay put… but life pushes onward through heartache and dreams and missed opportunities and potlucks… and it all comes back around,” states Graham. 

Graham had a plan to record a handful of songs at his parents’ cabin over the New Year holiday at the start of 2023 but his TEAC 2340 recorder had other ideas. “This tape machine was saying write, don’t record”… and that was a good tip. Sometimes I’m hasty with that red button and don’t have songs fully shaped before the tape is rolling. I still let that happen musically and I let the moment and the machine be the producer but lyrically, the songs on Music For Horses feel complete and really personal. Which is why I like to think it’s for horses because I didn’t want to be aspiring to anyone else’s standard or taste but my own… so if people don’t like it, it’s a win-win because they get to say it’s not for them and I get to say I told you so.” 

Music For Horses is a bit of a return to Graham’s 2020 record Turnin’s sensibilities. He had written those songs over a year and recorded them all to tape within a month and took a similar approach with these songs. 

“When you’re working in rep theatre and have a matinee in the afternoon before you rehearse for a different show at night, your time is very limited. I had a drum kit and my recording setup stashed under a blanket in an 115-year-old classroom-turned-rehearsal hall and would sneak in there to record late at night or on a day off. It’s also a return of sorts because during the isolation of this past pandemic I wrote and recorded two other albums that may or may not see the light of day… one was about astral projection and the other is a rock opera about the Toronto Circus Riot of 1855. I’ve never really left songs behind— I know it’s normal to have songs that never surface but it’s not how I usually work. I usually record everything I write and find a spot for it on an album so this feels a bit like I’m getting back on that horse, as it were. Just getting music out into the animal kingdom.”

Last year, Graham was doing a play called Grand Magic by Italian playwright and poet Eduardo di Filippo, so he was working a lot with the Italian-English translation which inspired much of the tongue-in-cheek wordplay on the record. Some sentiments don’t make their way across the translation divide or if they do they have a twist. A single word can be like a prism of meaning so Graham had fun playing with that in his lyrics and approach. 

“So many things keepin things keepin other things to / feet keepin time and I’m keepin fine keepin time with you / keep in mind I’m not talkin about keepin you / from anythin”

The album was recorded at the Stratford Normal School in Stratford, Ontario, and at Graham’s General Store in Lansdowne, Ontario between September 2023 and February 2024.

Christo plays acoustic and electric guitar, keys, bass, and drums as well as the musical saw, the bass recorder, and the cello on the songs with a few friends lending their talents to harmonies and additional instruments. 

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