Every song has room to grow. Upon releasing her 2020 album Audomatic Body, Lou Canon was left without a way to bring her 10 songs to life in front of an audience and eventually gave them pulse again on Reimagine The Body (Paper Bag Records), out Jan. 26, a collection of remixes of six tracks off Audomatic Body by Badge Epoch (U.S. Girls), July Talk, Holy Fuck (Graham Walsh), Lido Pimienta, Zoon, and Witch Prophet.
“I was desperate to hear where this body of work could go in the hands of an eclectic group of artists that I admire,” Canon tells American Songwriter. “It filled a void. With venues shuttered, these songs had no way to shift, to germinate, to breathe as they so often do when you take them on tour. This was their big moment to evolve into something exotic.”
Following up her “Invisible Desire” (Époque Selector Remix), reworked by Badge Epoch, “MOTR,” remixed with Canadian alt-rock band July Talk, plays like the “Part II” to its Audomatic Body half, continuing on through its hypnotic state.
“It’s an awkward sentiment, like sheepishly acknowledging a favorite child,” says Canon of the track. “So who better to reinvent this song than my dearest of friends, Peter [Dreimanis] and Leah [Fay] of July Talk. They share a delicate but fearless way of approaching their art. It’s as though they dug in, sifted away the earth, and unleashed the true spirit of this song. It’s urgent, it’s golden, it’s a perfect marriage of July Talk and Lou Canon.”
On the opening Audomatic Body track, “The Chorus,” Canon sings reimagine the body, a mantra that kept replaying in her mind during the pandemic. “The mantra looped in my sanity on rerun,” says Canon.
Never having the chance to see each song evolve each night in front of an audience, was her impetus for the remixes.
“When we work on a song it constantly mutates from conception to birth,” says Canon. “And yet we present the recording to the world in just one way, the last way. But why does there have to be a last way? I was in search for more of a continuum.”
Handing her song over to a collection of artists to reimagine—some who had never remixed before—revived a nervous excitement around each track for Canon. “It brought about a raw, most genuine magic,” says Canon, “wrapped in a new delicate skin with just enough familiar and just enough exotic.”
Adding another visual element to each reimagining, the first single soon expanded into a collection of visuals around the entire album.
“Each vignette is paired with a song on ‘Reimagine The Body,’” says Canon. “They depict an undisclosed and most arduous time in my everyday life. Without spoiling the plot, there is a deep connective tissue between this visual collection and the transformation I was undergoing.”
Canon adds, “It might be the most arresting, most honest personal account I’ve shared throughout my work to date, which makes it equal parts frightening, and equal parts exhilarating.”
As connected as Canon is to each song, the inception of words comes more from a detached state. “I like to get as far away from home as possible—shut out the rest of the world and write in a manic binge,” says Canon of songwriting. “It’s like I swan dive into a well of emotion. I fix myself to a stringent routine, and once I get rolling, I eat up every minute. A good song is one that I won’t stop obsessing over. I fall asleep and I can’t wait to get back to it.”
Though her hometown Toronto was once an inspiration—where she spent long nights at Skyscraper National Park studio and recorded her debut Suspicious in 2017—the lustre of the city has since faded.
“Somewhere along the way there was a shift,” shares Canon. “Now I tend to escape Toronto when I’m writing and recording. In fact, I’d say Montreal might have more of an impact. Montreal is a place I still feel curious and energized about. It’s as though we have a secret love affair… but where to next?”
Reimagine The Body Track Listing:
1. Invisible Desire (Badge Epoch Selector Remix)
2. Boogie Time (ft. Witch Prophet – SUN SUN Remix)
3. MOTR (July Talk Remix)
4. Aurelie (Lido Pimienta Remix)
5. Ancient Chamber (Graham Walsh Remix)
6. Next To You (Zoon Remix)
Click below to see Lou Canon’s trailer for Reimagine the Body.