Resident alien

Singer-songwriter Carly Maicher returns from the island to the Prairies to release album

Sometimes a little isolation helps create great art. Singer-songwriter Carly Maicher wrote and recorded her new album on an island just off the coast of New Brunswick. supplied

Carly Maicher has come out of hiding to play a show in Winnipeg.

The singer-songwriter’s album Hiding, which was inspired by and recorded on Grand Manan Island, an island just off the coast of New Brunswick, was released in August. Maicher spent four years living on the island - specifically to record music.

Hiding is about leaving all the familiar things behind, and experiencing the beauty and sadness of being totally alone,” Maicher says. “I struggled with missing my friends, my family, and coming to terms with the life I left behind. ... Hiding was definitely inspired by where I was. I felt like an alien there.”

Maicher has always been interested in music and started writing her own songs when she was 12. When she was around 15 she taught herself basic chords with the guitar, and her style eventually transformed into folk music.

The singer’s family originated from the Grand Manan Island and had a summer home there. Because it wasn’t used that much, Maicher took the opportunity and moved in.

It’s weird, while I lived in Winnipeg for a long time, I never really broke into the music scene there.

Carly Maicher

“Originally I just wanted to stay for the summer to work on songs and to record a ‘homemade’ album,” she says. “As things turned out, I got a job as a waitress, then I became the manager. I began using the place as a music venue, and I sort of built a life there.”

While there, Maicher started the Summer’s End Folk Festival, which is going into its third year. However, she eventually decided to leave.

“As much as I loved the island, it wasn’t the place to be to start a music career. I wanted to start branching out and getting my name out there. (The Festival) had a tour planned (for) September, and I left for that and haven’t gone back.”

However, Grand Manan Island is still on her mind. Even though she is moving around, she still thinks about her home off the coast of New Brunswick.

“I wouldn’t say I really left the island, I still feel like it’s my home, and I wouldn’t say I’m living in the Prairies. I spent a lot of time there, and it’s really inspired my music. I don’t have a solid home though. I’m just moving around.”

With a Winnipeg show booked at the Lo Pub on March 9, Maicher has some mixed feelings about coming back to her hometown.

“It’s weird. While I lived in Winnipeg for a long time, I never really broke into the music scene there,” she says. “I don’t really have a big connection there. But I’m excited, I don’t know what to expect.”

Published in Volume 66, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 7, 2012)

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