By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Tracy Lalonde is finding her range - and then some.
The Lancaster singer/songwriter's debut EP 'Little Letters' stirs images of love, literature, and legend that run the gamut of emotion.
Lalonde's highly-anticipated five-song EP, produced and engineered by Graham Greer (of Barstool Prophets), is set for release on March 4.
"We've been working on it for a year-and-a-half," she said. "I hope they like it."
The EP was recorded and mixed at Greer's home studio in Cornwall, Ontario, and was mastered in Toronto by Juno and Grammy nominee João Carvalho.
"He (Greer) has been a huge help," said Lalonde. "I came to him with demos that I recorded myself and we used those as building blocks for refining and fine tuning the songs that are on the EP."
Initially, Lalonde wanted to release Little Letters much sooner. For months, local ears have been all perked up in anticipation of the 25-year-old musician's debut.
"I wanted to get it done really quickly, but I learned it's a bit more of a process than that. You want to work on the songs to make sure that they're strong, they're good, they flow nicely, and there's not really any filler," she said.
Once Little Letters was done being recorded, mixed, and mastered Lalonde had to spend more time finalizing the business side of the project. To help fund the EP she applied for a grant from the Ontario Arts Council and drew support from the City of Cornwall.
"That was a little bit of a learning process," said Lalonde.
Now that the EP is complete, a frenzy of activity from her fans on social media continues to escalate. She has built a reputation for her ability to conjure meaningful sentiments with wonderful simplicity.
Greer has sent the EP to many of his friends in the music industry and the response has been favourable, to say the least.
"We need to get her out playing as much as possible as far from home as she can manage financially," he said. "That's going to be the definitive test that will seal the deal for a lot of industry folks... and I know she's got it in her... So I can't wait!"
Lalonde has been sliding Greer demos every so often over the last few years looking for feedback. The award-winning songwriter recognized her uncanny sense of melody immediately. As they recorded Little Letters, Greer saw Lalonde transform from an occasional performer to a talented artist.
"One of my favourite moments was when Glenn Forrester (who mixed for me) turned to me and said "Is it just me, or are these REALLY good?" As one of my oldest friends, I knew exactly what he meant and I was instantly proud to have had him say that to me. It really meant a lot coming from Glenn," said Greer.
Lalonde's signature approach to winning over your senses with profound lyrics and a soothing, yet stirring vocal range resonates long after the music stops.
Little Letters will be available for sale digitally via iTunes for $4.95 and physical CD copies will be available online through www.tracylalonde.com priced at $7.00. All three CD Warehouse locations in Ottawa will stock the EP, with Cornwall-area merchants to be confirmed.