Just shy of three years on from delivering his Birds with Broken Wings LP, Ben Caplan has lifted the curtain on a new full-length effort. Titled Old Stock, the album is set to arrive June 15 through Rhyme and Reason Records.
Thirteen tracks in length, Old Stock is a concept album inspired by the true story of two Jewish Romanian refugees coming to Canada in 1908. The album was adapted from musical theatre piece Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, a production from Caplan, Hanna Moscovitch and Christian Barry in which the songwriter starred.
After opening in Halifax, the production has since been featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at New York City's 59E59 Theaters for a seven-week residency.
Caplan has also shared a first taste of what's to come from the new album with "Widow Bride," a song about colonialism penned by Geoff Berner.
Caplan expanded on the song's place on the record in a statement:
I wanted to put this song on album because it was important to me that the album include a nod to the First Peoples who were in this land before colonists, settlers, and various waves of immigrants and refugees arrived. The song quotes Queen Victoria "looking for a strong young man to match up with these virgin lands." The tragedy of the song is the central lie of North America. These were not "virgin lands". The bride was indeed beautiful, but she already had a groom, and he was still very much alive.
-Calum Slingerland, Exclaim