Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Charlotte Cornfield has been a favourite at CKUA for some time. Her latest album, Could Have Done Anything, is a lyrical and gentle exploration of connection and re-connection. We invited her to tell us what’s new in her world (hint: it’s a person!), and which artist she’s hoping to meet at a festival this summer.
You’re often described as a multi-instrumentalist. What was the first instrument you played?
I grew up in a very musical household and started taking piano lessons when I was 5, so that’s my official first instrument.
Your latest album, Could Have Done Anything, includes songs about friendship, travel, and home. How did the postponement of live music change your thinking about these things over the past few years?
My previous record, Highs in the Minuses, was more of a pandemic album, influenced by the isolation, anxiety, and uncertainty of that time. Could Have Done Anything is a celebration of the joy of travel, and people, and seeing people. It was really inspired by reconnecting with all of that, and going on the road again during a time where it just felt so celebratory.
What are your summer plans?
I just had a baby five weeks ago, so baby time is my big summer plan, but I’m also playing a few festivals scattered throughout the summer: Winnipeg Folk Fest, Nelsonville Music Fest, End of the Road in the UK, and POP Montreal.
Who are your musical influences? Who would make you faint if you were to share a workshop stage at a festival?
Right now, Lucinda Williams is a big influence, and she’s actually playing one of the fests I’m playing this summer, so fingers crossed I get to meet her! Joni is a huge influence, and Neil and Bob of course. Gillian Welch, Jeff Tweedy, Joan Armatrading, Arthur Russell, Big Star, Sharon Van Etten.
Can you choose a song from your new album to send out to our audience?
“Gentle Like the Drugs”