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Gord Downie

Seeking Our Softer Side

Gord Downie If Gord Downie didn’t exist, Canada would have to invent him. After all, who else unites such a wide spectrum of Canadians, from sensitive nature-worshippers to surly, lager-swilling brawlers? On his new solo album, The Grand Bounce, the Tragically Hip front man even sings about how the two extremes can have more in common than one may suspect — although he comes down on the side of the softies.

"This country maybe needs to feel more vulnerable, act more vulnerable," Downie says. The rangy singer is elaborating on his song The Hard Canadian in an east-Toronto coffee shop, with a cup of java in front of him. The character is as uncommunicative as a sheet of rock in coldest February, but as Downie sings against a howling backdrop, the Hard Canadian drags a "brush through … wet pigment," remembering the "glow" of someone’s nightgown. His hardness is really just an act.

Story continues at The National Post


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