Toronto songwriter, singer and guitarist Laura Repo’s folk-pop fourth album, This Is My Room, stakes a claim to space devoted to creativity. Following a long wait after 2011’s critically acclaimed Get Yourself Home – which was produced by the Foggy Hogtown Boys’ Andrew Collins and nominated for a Juno for best cover art – This Is My Room sees Repo exploring new musical avenues with producer Tino Zolfo (Hawksley Workman), who she met at their local coffee shop, The Common, and recorded demos with back in 2009. Little did either of them know that those demos would lead to a full-length album almost 10 years later.
The release of 2011’s Get Yourself Home coincided with some hard times for Repo: her father died suddenly in 2012, followed four years later by her son Sami’s father, Paul, who passed away from cancer. “During that time I got to know something about grief and how it can take your voice away,” Repo says. “The sensation of not wanting to open my mouth to make a sound and the strangeness of not being moved by music was new for me.”
Gradually, joy came back to her. “I discovered something new about music in the quiet time,” Repo says. “That singing is about finding a thread attached to hope, something like singing for the spirit of music itself, filling that well, wherever it exists.” The album title, This Is My Room, is a nod to that journey, and to Virginia Woolf’s A Room Of One’s Own, as well as Write On Mama, Repo’s writing group for mothers.
Laura Repo has toured Canada and Finland (her mom’s homeland), played the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Finland’s Kaustinen Folk Music Festival and Harbourfront’s Concert Stage. She has opened for Beth Orton, Kelly Willis, Oh Susanna, John Borra and Jerry Leger and collaborated with John Switzer (Jane Siberry) and The Woodshed Orchestra. In 2014 Repo assembled A Band Of Mothers – Marnie Niemi Hood (Roses In The Snow), Kristin Cavoukian (Houndstooth), D’Arcy Good (The Good Family) and Repo – for a special Mother’s Day show at Hugh’s Room.