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Gord Downie Announces Solo Album ‘Introduce Yerself’

Gord Downie is continuing to release new and exciting projects even in the wake of his brain cancer diagnosis.

In October 2016, The Tragically Hip frontman released the multimedia project Secret Path, based on the life of Chanie Wenjack. The solo album and graphic novel told the relatively unknown story of Wenjack, who died from the elements in 1966 at the age of 12 while escaping a residential school in Kenora, Ontario, where he had lived for three years. The story received some press in MacLeans Magazine in 1967, but was largely forgotten until Downie released his Secret Path project last year, an effort that earned Downie three JUNO Awards and a spot on the 2017 Polaris Music Prize shortlist.

Now Downie is again stunning fans with his incredible resilience by releasing his second solo album in a year. Introduce Yerself will be available for pre-order starting September 29. The double album, which features 23 new songs by Downie, will be released in digital download format and on CD on October 27, with vinyl available starting December 1.

Downie released a trailer for the new album today, writing, “This is my solo record. Each song is about a person.” The one minute black and white video shows Downie thumbing through his notes and song list in the recording studio before the image fades into a shot of two figures walking away from the camera in a snow covered terrain. Song lyrics in Downie’s handwriting begin appearing on the screen as the video fades back into Gord singing in the studio.

In his trademark subject matter, Downie sings a few lines of one song and quickly gives a geography lesson on Canada, this time referencing James Bay.

Releasing the news on his Facebook page, the new record was reportedly recorded ‘swiftly’ over two four-day sessions in January 2016 and February 2017, with many of Downie’s first takes making the final record. The Canadian musician teamed up once again with Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, who produced the album and co-wrote a number of the songs. Drew also worked with Downie on last year’s Secret Path.

1. First Person
2. Wolf’s Home
3. Bedtime
4. Introduce Yerself
5. Coco Chanel No. 5
6. Ricky Please
7. Safe Is Dead
8. Spoon
9. A Natural
10. Faith Faith
11. My First Girlfriend
12. Yer Ashore
13. Love Over Money
14. You Me And The B’s
15. Snowflake
16. A Better End
17. Nancy
18. Thinking About Us
19. The Road
20. You Are The Bird
21. The Lake
22. Far Away And Blurred
23. The North

Fans of Downie will also be able to see Gord along with the members of The Tragically Hip in the upcoming documentary Long Time Running, directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicohlas de Pencier, who also directed the trailer for Introduce Yerself.

Airing November 12 on CTV, the documentary is an intimate look at the bands’ summer 2016 Man Machine Poem Tour, which took The Hip across Canada and eventually ended in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. The Man Machine Poem Tour is widely regarded as The Tragically Hip’s goodbye to their fans, with Downie’s cancer diagnosis revealed in May 2016 along with the tour announcement. The doc premiered this month at TIFF to rave reviews.