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Serena Ryder

A caterpillar sheds its form inside a chrysalis to emerge as a butterfly; the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi mends the cracked pieces of pottery with veins of gold, making it even more beautiful than it was before. Everywhere around us, transformation occursvia dismantling—of harmful habits, of skewed perceptions of the self, of damagingsocial norms—and rebuilding. Throughout her accomplished career, Serena Ryder has discovered the beauty in this process. On ​The Art of Falling Apart​, her eighth studio album, the six-time JUNO Award winner invites listeners to join her mental wellness journey and helps us understand the importance of sitting with the uncomfortable moments and the wisdom in their messages. “If the weight’s too heavy, let it break yourheart,” she sings on “Better Now,” the album’s triumphant centrepiece. “That’s how youlearn the art of falling apart.”
There’s an immediacy to ​The Art of Falling Apart​, due to its driving pop sound—bursting with irresistible rhythms, pulsing bass lines, and the full range of Serena’s powerful and expressive voice —as well as the recording process that birthed it. The album was produced in just 10 days alongside Simon Wilcox, Gordie Sampson and Tawgs Salter (The Architects). Each song recorded the same day it was written, and the tracksappear in the order they were created, with raw, unprocessed vocals and instrumentation. On paper, ​The Art of Falling Apart​ might have been completed over those 10 days in Nashville—but it took Serena her whole life to make.
Serena guides us on the journey towards falling apart—detailing despair, toxic relationships, and breakdowns, alongside hope, joy, and big, big love. With the moody, sugary groove of “Candy,” she begins to shed her emotional armour. On the rousing “Waterfall,” she belts out a rallying call like no other on the chorus, asserting the healing power that tears bring a body. She dismisses a past partner’s cheap talk on “Bus Stop,”while the sun-spattered swell of “Kid Gloves” and sophisticated swagger of “Used to You” both celebrate that sweet, rare, heart-swelling kind of love. With “Better Now,” she finds a soulful solace in sobriety, and the self-assured “Back to Myself” reveals that there is no destination, but a constant journey away from and back towards ourselves—each step a new opportunity to fall apart and grow stronger.
The Art of Falling Apart​ is just one piece of Serena’s leadership as a mental wellness advocate. Her keynote speech—which shares the name of the album—has been presented across the country, and Serena will release a condensed, animated version alongside the record, making it accessible to audiences worldwide. In spring 2020, as the world entered the COVID-19 pandemic, Serena launched The Art of Wellness with her womanager Sandy Pandya via their label ArtHaus Music. The Art of Wellness is an interactive series designed to help artists and creative professionals manage stress and find balance within themselves. Serena has also worked on a variety of wellness initiatives with schools, corporations and charitable organizations, and in 2018 was awarded the Margaret Trudeau Mental Health Advocacy Award. Through her music,speeches, mentorship and community work, Serena continues to challenge the myth that we must keep ourselves together, reminding us that, “If you keep your shit together,eventually you’re full of it.”
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