• Cross Border Interview

Vol. 2 Ep. 8 Kim Mitchell


Kim Mitchell, guitarist, singer, songwriter, broadcaster chats about his newest song "Wishes"


“It’s like that classic car that’s been in the garage for a while – the one you’re going to strip down and restore ‘cause you know there’s something special there, but you just never seem to get around to it.”


That’s how Kim Mitchell thought of The Big Fantasize, his latest studio album, before finally rolling up his sleeves with co-producer and close friend Greg Wells (Keith Urban, Adele, Taylor Swift, 21 Pilots) and getting their hands dirty. Turns out there was something pretty sweet hiding under the hood…


The Big Fantasize marks the Canadian music icon’s eighth solo studio album (plus 5 as the leader of Max Webster) and first since 2007’s Ain’t Life Amazing. But where its predecessor was a fiery and fierce rock album anchored by big riffs and bigger swagger, The Big Fantasize is a more dynamic and musically expansive effort that perfectly encapsulates Mitchell’s prowess as a pure and compelling songwriter. In fact, he is soon to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame joining other inductee’s like Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young


The sanguine lead track, “WISHES” is best described as an ethereal and enveloping soundtrack to a slow dance under the stars with a very timely message of having less and living more: of savouring lifes simplest pleasures.


“After very randomly reading A.C. Child’s poem ‘Wishes,’ I knew immediately I wanted to turn it into a song,” Mitchell explains. “The challenge was coming up with a melody and music that would be harmonically satisfying for me, yet present itself as simple, pretty, and properly serving the lyric.”


Musically, the verses came relatively quickly, though Mitchell soon realized that whereas the poem felt complete on its own, it didn’t seem that way in song – at least not yet. “I felt I needed something lyrically and musically to sum up the whole idea, and a deviation somewhere – a short musical passage that you could just float away with before coming back to the song’s final message,” he says.


That took patience and plenty of trial-and-error – years’ worth, in fact. “I’d leave it for months, come back and work on it, leave it again then come back, until one peaceful morning while looking out my front window with an acoustic on my lap, the refrain just came to me. I wasn’t even searching for it but there it was! The bridge I thought it needed so badly came right after and a sigh of accomplishment washed over me with the song finally finished.”


“I feel lucky to have been the conduit for this song to come to life. I hope I served it well cuz songwriters don’t always come up with the idea, most often the idea picks them and this lyric and song, through pure serendipity, now arrive as my first single at a particularly poignant and difficult time.”

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