Sarah Harmer


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Are You Gone - the first album in a decade from Sarah Harmer – is a deeply personal and momentous collection of songs motivated by life’s beauty, love’s mysteries and the climate crisis. Two decades since her heralded debut “You Were Here”, Sarah returns with a deepened, electric exploration of nature and human nature. Are You Gone is about stepping away – quieting one’s own voice for a matter of time, and using that force in different ways. Like generations of poets before her, Harmer gleaned the magic of the place while visiting a writer-in-residence there in summer 2019. “I decided on the album title while staying for a night,” Harmer recalls, “thinking about time and time capsules, and our need for isolation but also for community,” The result of an unshakeable inclination to make music alongside a lifestyle more attuned to privacy and local activism, Sarah wrote Are You Gone gradually over the last decade as she traded music for grassroots organizing. Between co-founding the citizen’s organization PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) and leading the coalition’s successful efforts to stop a massive quarry on the Niagara Escarpment, she became a fixture in local politics and advocacy. She kept her musical chops up playing casually with friends and the odd small show. Finally, in 2017, while pondering the ghosts of loss, capitalism’s gluttony and music’s potential as a public platform, Sarah was moved to get to work on her most sophisticated record to date.