Revelstoke, British Columbia singer Al Lee has released a self-produced album called “Revolution St.” Senior writer Emily Nilsen takes a listen.

In a post-truth era, it’s often the artists who hold society accountable. Al Lee is no exception. His latest full-length album, Revolution St., takes an unapologetic look at the fractured world we live in today. From issues of social justice to the messiness of being alive, it brings listeners on a full-sound journey that begins and ends with a rare thing: hope.

Born in Montreal, Ali Haeri moved to Revelstoke, British Columbia, over 10 years ago and adopted the stage name Al Lee while playing live music at bars, house concerts, and festivals. His first self-titled album, Al Lee, released in 2018, offered a gritty blend of Americana, country blues, roots, and rock and roll. His latest release builds on this style and the result is a sound of its own. Instrumental layers, rich vocals, and momentum-building rhythms give a sense of urgency that is interspersed with spacious acoustics. Listening is like jumping on the back of a galloping horse while marvelling at the wide sky overhead. In other words, it’s wild, yet full of wonder.

In the album’s opening track, “Another Way Home,” Lee sings, “As the mountain touches the river, and the river touches the sea, all that matters is the truth to me.” The music in Revolution St. may have roots in a small mountain town, but its message is clearly fed by the highways, rivers, and issues that connect us all.

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