The political and social ramifications of loss due to COVID-19 rippled through the Kootenays.
Rossland musician Brett Wildeman felt it keenly, and that sense of loss also provided inspiration for his recently released single Coffee with You.
The 34-year-old singer/songwriter goes by his musical pseudonym “Paulson Pass,” a nod to the Paulson summit and the ghost town, both northwest of Rossland. His song, Coffee with You, was released Nov. 30 and can be found on online musical platforms.
“One of the beautiful things about releasing singles is you can release them as you finish,” he said. “I have four or five others that are between 50 and 70 per cent finished, so as they mature, they can be released as one offs, here and there.”
Coffee with You is a richly brewed sample that will leave listeners lining up for more.
Wonderfully simple, the song pursues the complex relationship of COVID and social protocols that ended the sharing of a beloved and comforting social ritual.
The lyric “Heart beats fast but time moves so slow, yearning for coffee with you” is a subtle blend of apprehension and hope, finished with a lingering metaphor.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Wildeman was finishing his degree in teaching at the University of Victoria. The resulting lock-down profoundly affected his studies, his music, daily habits, and relationships.
“All of a sudden I couldn’t frequent my favourite coffee shops, and see all my friends that I had in Victoria, and it just shifted how I and many other people interact with place and community – you can’t meet your friends out for coffee or a drink.”
Prior to COVID, Wildeman made music, toured, played in bands, and, as an environmentally conscious musician, cycled to his gigs.
He moved to the West Kootenay in 2016, spent time in Nelson, and after graduating, he earned a teaching position at School District 20.
As protocols are relaxed, Paulson Pass finds renewed inspiration and musical motivation.
“Now that things are opening up and shows are starting to get booked, it’s exciting that we can share coffee, obviously with people, and share music as well.”
With the release of his new single, Paulson Pass also hopes to get back on the stage and release more songs – one cup at a time.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to play again live,” he added. “It’s just a matter of continuing to make music and get reacquainted with promoters to make some shows happen.”
Coffee with You by Paulson Pass can be found on Spotify and Apple.Music, and accessed through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.