Louder than the noise

Craig Cardiff, a Kingston veteran, returns for two shows

Craig Cardiff’s newest album title is inspired by his fans.
Craig Cardiff’s newest album title is inspired by his fans.

With a soft voice, digital vocals and unmistakeable guitar loops, Craig Cardiff’s music reflects an uncompromising humanitarian.

The Canadian folk singer-songwriter is back in Kingston to tour his new album Love is Louder (Than All This Noise) and to reconnect with fans.

Officially, Cardiff’s music is described as “edged, folk, beautiful, melancholy and left leaning, one song breaks your heart, and the next one puts it back together,” but this description is nothing compared to the actual musical experience that the singer-songwriter plays.

From alternative touring to organizing workshops, the independent artist has a way of keeping the focus on the music and the people who want to listen.

He’s performed in camps, prisons, basements, festivals, kitchens and even on the streets.

But no matter where he performs, Cardiff keeps his performances intimate, like a two-way conversation. He prioritizes genuine connection with the audience over big business.

“At the end of the day or the night [after a show], people feel that they have something to share in common with each other,” he said.

Cardiff encourages people to be open and not be afraid of adventure or mistakes.

A notebook dubbed the The Book of Truths is passed around at his shows. Fans are invited to write something truthful in it — a story or a secret that the person may not want to say out loud.

“[It’s important because] I feel like it gives people a voice,” Cardiff said.

He’s a genuine musician whose Facebook page alone has 10,000 likes and whose following continues to grow.

“I go where people are excited to listen and be part of the music,” Cardiff said. “If people want me to play in a church, then I’ll go play in a church.”

In 2012, Cardiff was nominated for a Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year: Solo and for a Canadian Folk Music Award as Contemporary Singer of the Year.

Earlier this week, his new album Love is Louder (Than All This Noise) was released.

“We’ve been working on it for a while so in a way it’s a relief,” Cardiff said.

Recorded primarily in Cardiff’s home studio, the “one-part boisterous group sing-along and one-part gentle lullaby” is his way of consoling his audience

His album is named after a particular showgoer, who had “love is louder” tattooed on his wrist. Someone else at the show wrote a heartbreaking story in the Book of Truths, and thus the album title in full was born.

Yet another way Cardiff is currently connecting with fans is by asking them to share father-daughter pictures to include in the music video for his song “Father Daughter Dance”.

“The song is about a shared experience and it’s hard to recreate authentically with actors,” Cardiff said. “[This way is] more genuine.”

Cardiff will be performing at his sold-out show at the Clark Hall Pub tonight. Due to high demand, he’s set to play another show on Nov. 25 back at Clark Hall.

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