Sera Cahoone Shares New Arrangement of “Deer Creek Canyon” (KEXP Premiere)

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
Dusty Henry
photo by Hilary Harris

Sera Cahoone’s lived many different musical lives. From performing with local legends like Band of Horses and Carissa’s Wierd to her remarkable solo career, she’s continued to push herself forward and find new ground to cover and stories to tell. But for a moment, Cahoone is taking time to look back. On April 20 she’ll release The Flora String Sessions EP, a collection of new arrangements of old favorites. Featuring string arrangements by Led To Sea’s Alex Guy (seen to the right in the photo above), the release promises an intimate new look at songs that have been a part of the Seattle songwriter’s repertoire for years. We’re getting a taste of what that will look like with this stunning new arrangement of the title track for her 2012 album, Deer Creek Canyon.

"Deer Creek Canyon is a beautiful canyon in Littleton, Colorado,” Cahoone tells KEXP. “I grew up there and my mom lives on the top of the mountain with an amazing view of the canyon. I have a lot of memories from that place – some of them heartfelt and some of them ridiculous like the first time I got stoned (it was terrible and I'm pretty sure I was stoned for days.) This song is basically about pull of home – and the landscape of home – even though I've lived in Seattle for so many years."

While “Deer Creek Canyon” might not be a new song, Cahoone’s new arrangement and recording of the song is brimming with new life. As a song that’s about looking back and the nostalgia for your childhood home, the addition of string arrangements only bolsters the emotional impact. Cahoone is only further away from those wayward years than when she wrote it, just like all of us are continually advancing beyond our earliest memories. The words may be the same ones she sang back in 2012, but the meaning and feelings change as time progresses. Cahoone’s intricate strumming and fingerpicking offer up a canvas for the strings to build off of, embracing the cinematic qualities of a flashback montage without losing the purity in her lyricism. 

Stream the new version of “Deer Creek Canyon” below.

Cahoone and her string trio play The Old Church in Portland, Ore. on April 13, then they’ll return to Seattle on April 20 for a set at the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya. 

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