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Isolation theme of long-delayed album more pertinent than ever in the post-COVID world

Mike Haggith’s album ‘Bridges’ was released Nov. 6, more than two years after he had originally planned for it to come out.
Bridges Album Cover
Thompson musician and songwriter Mike Haggith finally released his album “Bridges” on Nov. 6, more than two years later than he had originally planned for it to be available.

It was more than two years behind what was originally anticipated when it was finally released in early November, but Thompson musician and songwriter Mike Haggith says he thinks his album “Bridges” came out at the right time.

“It revolves around the them of feeling really isolated,” he said, following its release Nov. 6. “I’m kind of glad the album’s coming out now after a year-and-a-half of that where we all have gone through the collective thing. I think it just makes the record more relatable, probably more so than if it had been released on time three years ago.”

Although that’s a feeling almost all of us are familiar with as the second anniversary of the arrival of COVID-19 in Manitoba approaches, Haggith says the songs, which were recorded through 2018, actually relate to how he felt after moving to Thompson from Sault Ste. Marie a year earlier.

“I felt so alone and really helpless for awhile and I knew that the longer I just stayed in my apartment by myself, isolating myself, the worse effect it was going to have on my mental health.” he recalls. “All of my writing comes from personal experience and hardship, triumph or whatever it is, so since this record was written I’ve kind of experienced a lot. I’ve had a lot of highs a lot of lows and those are all going to get written about. Basically my whole life story, when it’s said and done, will just be told through my albums, through music.”

In addition to letting “Bridges” out into the world, one of Haggith’s recent highs has been performing some of the songs from it with members of The Average Joes when they teamed up to serve as the opening entertainment for a comedy show fundraiser in Thompson Nov. 27.

“Through the pandemic I really sort of felt like I wanted to exist as a predominantly studio musician from now on,” Haggith says. “Then when we went and played that show, we had a great time. We had chemistry, the audience was great, it sounded really good. It really just restored my love for live performance. It just reminded me of all the things that I had missed. It was just a really, really great atmosphere. I just loved it so much, definitely love playing live again. I just want to do that so much more.”

Haggith’s album, which was mixed and mastered by Justin Sobey, is available through streaming services like Spotify, Bandcamp and Amazon Music but it can also be purchased in CD or vinyl record form on demand via his website mikehaggith.com.

“Personally, I’m a huge sucker for being able to actually hold the music in your hands so I went out and I found a manufacturer that actually just makes CD and vinyl copies on demand,” says the musician, who estimates that he owns 500 CDs and 300 or so vinyl albums. “I’ve been collecting since my early teens and there’s just something about putting the needle down and watching the records go around and just hearing the warmth of it. I love it.”