I get most of my music on Amazon now, but there was a time not so long ago when brick and mortar stores still had aisles and aisles packed with CDs. Sometimes, if I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, I would wander around looking for something to take a chance on.

That’s how I discovered Canadian singer songwriter Sarah Harmer. Something about the cover of her album You Were Here attracted me, and I bought it. So a whim led me to one of my now favorite musicians.

Something strange…but let’s call it serendipitous…often happens when I fall in love with particular music. At least some of it works itself into my writing process. One song that perfectly fits anything I’ve ever written is fun. A few are cool. When it’s an entire album it gets downright eerie. That last kind is a rare and wonderful event, especially when the music of other people becomes like a soundtrack for what I haven’t yet written.

So far, three of Sarah Harmer’s albums have woven themselves into my creative process. Not every song on each, but many, and somehow it tends to be when I’m working on a new script.¬† I can hear You Were Here and her later album All Our Names and the songs that sang me into the worlds in my imagination throw me right back there again.

I just got her most recent one, Oh Little Fire, and immediately fell in love with it. The first half instantly became the accompaniment to my travels across the mental landscape of the new crime drama screenplay I’m working on.

Sarah Harmer changes her style from album to album. You Were Here is slow and dreamy, All Our Names has a bit of a different atmospheric feel to it, and I’m a Mountain has an entirely different bluegrassy sound. Oh Little Fire from 2010 is way more rock-y, with a lot of electric guitar. The thing that’s so cool about her music is that whatever style she chooses for any given album it’s always still distinctly her.

She has a beautiful voice that perfectly matches her lovely and insightful lyrics. She sings of love and loss, courage and pain in ways that carry emotions across the waves of sound to touch a listener’s life and heart. And, in my case, muse.

Oh Little Fire songs The Thief, Captive, New Loneliness, One Match, Careless, and Late Bloomer are my personal soundtrack of a story still forming in my head. I love the whole album, though. Right now I’m hung on It Will Sail, a quieter, slower song more reminiscent of You Were Here.

Finding music to love is a gift. Finding music that resonates with our mental landscapes is a treasure. Sarah Harmer’s music is both. I only wish her albums were dropping every year, instead of sometimes several years apart.

Sarah Harmer–One Match Live on 102.9 K-LITE FM

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