My name is Zoë, and I am a songwriter. I live in Montreal, QC with my husband/editor in chief, Julien, and our two children.
I write songs about all kinds of odds and ends - shoes, ships, sealing wax, cabbages, kings - but I always find myself returning to the themes of landscape, love, time, death and the strange way that being a creature feels and creates meaning in the swirling eddies of spacetime. I also write about motherhood, and the emotional saga of becoming a parent. I draw musical influence from the great Canadian voices of Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. I also have a special place in my heart for the dark charisma of Tom Waits, the heartbreakingly beautiful work of Townes Van Zandt, and cult hero Sixto Rodriguez. My lyrics are confessional, poetic, sometimes funny and often suffused with dark, woodsy imagery. My chords and melodies run the gamut from traditionally folky to jazzy, sometimes with a country bent. When I put on a show, just me and my acoustic guitar, I offer something unflinchingly personal, but also uplifting in its honesty.
I began writing songs when I was 15, a high school student from Hay Bay, ON (just shy of Napanee, not so far from Kingston) but until 2010, I was focused on some other kinds of music-making. I played saxophone and sang back-up in beloved Kingston party-band, the Soul Survivors, during my music studies at Queen's I played alto and baritone saxophones in the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band and I then spent two very serious years studying classical saxophone at McGill.
Then in 2010, I teamed up with Julien Palassio to record the songs that I had been quietly writing all that time. From 2010-2014, the alt-folk group Zoë & the Lost Boys became the vehicle for my songwriting. In 2011 we released our 6-song EP "Joints (Muscles, Seams)", followed by the full length album "Love Lives Here" in 2013. With Z&tLB, I had the opportunity to play shows from Edmunston, NB to North Bay, ON and many locations in between.
The Lost Boys dispersed and in 2016 I began writing and performing with no backing band, just me and my acoustic guitar. In 2017 I launched a Kickstarter campaign to help record my most recent recording - "The Quiet Years".
I am now continuing my solo journey, with a parcel of new songs to sing and stories to tell. A lot has happened to me since 2016 - I've played dozens of shows, kept food on the table by working at my joe job, started therapy, created a comic strip... I also had another baby, which changed everything all over again.
Now I'm headed out into the world with my guitar, my words and my music. My hope is that sometimes and in some ways, folks might hear my songs and have something resonate, or recognize a part of themselves in the lines.
See you out there! xo ~zoë