Although singer-songwriter Corinne Newton calls the rural area around Central Butte and Tugaske her stomping grounds, she’s excited to have recently found a home on the rotation at Moose Jaw’s country radio station with her newest single, “Real Life Reality.”
The title track of Newton’s new five-track EP hit the airwaves on March 9 — the first time Newton has debuted a new song in such a big way.
“As an independent artist, I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants,” joked Newton. “But it's on the local rotation now and when they play the local spotlight, it's on there too. And anybody can get those listening numbers up for us [by requesting the song], and maybe it will go further.”
The inspiration behind “Real Life Reality” came from a realization she had about technology and social media, said Newton, and how sometimes we need to look up from the screens and find enjoyment in real life.
“The song just kind of flowed out of me,” said Newton. “Looking at those devices and technology, there’s just a lot of negativity, so if we can just set it aside for a while, we’ll see there’s a lot of things to look at other than that.”
Newton said she initially penned the song a few years back, but found that the message she wrote in “Real Life Reality” seemed to be even more pertinent given the past year.
“When the pandemic hit, I played it during a Facebook live [video] or something, and everybody just related to it that much more,” said Newton.
In fact, her audience enjoyed the single so much that it prompted her to consider recording new music for the first time since her previous album in 2015, Chasing Butterflies. The decision was cemented when fellow musician Mike Beaudry launched Sonar Records, a recording studio located in Tugaske and just down the road from Newton’s home, and invited her to be the first artist to hit the sound booth.
One single turned into the Real Life Reality EP, which features four other new tracks from within Newton’s notebooks. And while the title track feels pandemic-adjacent, the rest of the album is more about the experience of living on the prairies, which is Newton’s forte as an artist, set in the nostalgic style of country music from the 90s.
“I’m a big fan of 90s country and I really miss that sound, [so] I told that to Mike and everything he does on guitar [for the EP] is exactly what I was hoping for,” said Newton. “They’re upbeat songs, because I didn’t want to go sad; there’s enough negativity out there that I wanted to keep it upbeat [and] they’re songs of the prairies and of the rural. I write about what I know and I’ve lived most of my life here in the prairies.”
Newton also shared that the entire album is actually completely locally grown, sourced right from her small town and surrounding area.
Real Life Reality was recorded and produced at Sonar Records, and both of Newton’s backing musicians are from the Tugaske and Central Butte area — Beaudry on drums and guitar, and Glenna Switzer guesting on keyboards. Even the album’s cover and promotional photos were taken by local photographer Shelby Godick.
“It’s a locally made album and that is kind of important, you know, especially in this day in age,” said Newton. “And it really shows the talent that’s right here, you don’t have to go anywhere. We’re not keeping it local just to keep it local, it's that the talent is right here, and that's kind of neat.”
As the cherry on top of a successful single release, Newton is also inviting fans to help her out in creating a music video for “Real Life Reality.” She’s asking for emailed submissions of video clips, ideally of around 30 seconds, showing off what people are doing to entertain themselves that doesn’t involve technology, which she’ll be compiling together into a music video.
“I’ve got quite a few coming in, but there’s always room for more,” said Newton. “It's kind of fun, seeing what everybody’s been up to, and I think it brings a smile to everyone’s face, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Real Life Reality will be available to listen to on all streaming platforms on March 12, including Spotify and iTunes. Anyone interested in a physical copy of the album can reach out to Newton either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website to request a CD.