Brian Mackey creates a musical landscape filled with shadows and light, with glimpses of hope and unity, with the ruggedness of unfulfilled yearning and the bright expansiveness of hope.

With the heart-on-your-sleeve, wry, and sincerity of Hayes Carll, the jangly and joyous folk rhythms of the Avett Brothers, and the arid echoing chamber folk of Foy Vance, Mackey negotiates the twists and turns of personal relationships, the often hypocritical and cloying social strictures that keep us from being honest with one another, and the soaring yearning for all of life’s possibilities we can embrace.

Mackey’s newest single “Keep the World Alive” reflects his hopefulness in a world gone awry, and it’s an anthem for our time. This nostalgic and hopeful song pleads for individuals to take care of one another during the uncertain and tragic time of the global COVID-19 pandemic while also reflecting on his brother’s deep mourning.

The latter died during this time after a period of illness. While the single deals with a sad subject, Mackey recalls that he was trying to work his feelings out, and its bright music evokes hope rather than despair, fear, or sorrow.

Mackey illustrates his ways with words and music on his new album, wrapping gorgeous and often spare piano and guitar chords around lyrics that glimmer with facts of truth about the nature of love, often expressed in a homespun and knowing way, with canny language, humour and wit.

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