After spending much of 2020 with her thoughts and instruments, Charlotte Cornfield knew it was time to take her new songs out of the house. She’d spent months writing a suite of evocative, autobiographical story-songs in near-solitude, and was ready for the immediate, regenerative experience of a band playing live in the studio. But this wasn’t mere pandemic-related longing. It was instead a long-simmering desire.
The Canadian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist’s 2019 album The Shape of Your Name had received widespread praise, including being longlisted for the coveted Polaris Music Prize. But it was a slow solo endeavor, written alone and meticulously recorded in fits and starts over the span of a few years. She’d even played most of its instruments. It was a mode that proved fruitful, if not inauthentic to the spirit of musical community Cornfield has dedicated herself to since childhood. After coming of age amid vibrant DIY scenes in her hometown Toronto, and forming lasting bonds in the music program at Montreal’s Concordia University, for Highs in the Minuses Cornfield knew she needed a cast that was representative of her journey — those friends and colleagues who’ve helped her become the incisive, witty, and generous writer and player she is.
Case Oats is the new project of Chicago local, Casey Gomez Walker. Tunes by a Midwest cowgirl who wants to make things feel alright.