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Featuring nine original compositions and a cover of Little Feat’s “Roll Um Easy,” Fires for the Cold is a reflection of the conflicts that engulfed Tolchin over the last few years. “Every record I make is like a record in time,” Tolchin explains. “I found that for myself, and for this record, it has been important to delve into the depths of my emotions and confront them head on. The album became a healing process.”
Recorded at Carriage House Studios and co-produced with GRAMMY-winning producer, musician and engineer Sheldon Gomberg, the album features many notable guests, including Jackson Browne and Rickie Lee Jones, who provide backing vocals on “Roll Um Easy.” Sara Watkins lends backing vocals and plays violin on “Supermarket Rage” and Honeysuckle.” The set also features A-list players, including Jay Bellerose (drums), Little Feat guitarist Fred Tackett, Greg Liesz (steel guitar), and Ben Peller (guitar).
Reflecting Tolchin’s musical journey, the album’s title was taken from a line written by the late poet Mary Oliver – “Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”
“For me, writing can be like self therapy, combined with a desire to offer the listener a reflective experience that extends beyond my own personal narrative,” Tolchin says. “I hope these songs will reflect what the title suggests and indeed provide “fires for the cold.”