By Stephen Irving
Coco Love Alcorn is no stranger to bicycle commuting. The Toronto-based singer-songwriter has been riding a bicycle her whole life. “I love the feeling of hopping on and flying to my next destination,” she begins. Her busy touring schedule over the past few years has required the use of a van, but she usually straps a couple of bikes on top whenever possible. “I don’t get to ride on a daily basis anymore as some days there’s an eight hour drive, sound check and gig. However, on the days where a bit of free time does pop up I get to ride my bikes in all sorts of places I never would have seen otherwise.”
Coco Love Alcorn’s music is an amazing eclectic mix of sounds, including jazz, folk, pop, R&B and electro. The term “Joyful Soul” is a phrase she’s been toying with to describe her music. Over the years she has worked with artists that include Ani DiFranco, Burton Cummings and Jesse Cook. A native of Nova Scotia, Alcorn has spent much of her adult life divided between Vancouver and Toronto, where she learned to ride bikes and even wrote songs about bikes, such as “I Got a Bicycle” from her latest album Joyful released in 2009 on Maple Music.
Alcorn has written several velo love songs since purchasing her first road bike in the spring of 2006, a black bespeckled beauty she named Fiori Modena. “Straight out of the gate it was... smooooooth.” Six months later, while on tour, Alcorn began to really miss the freedom associated with riding her bicycle. She missed her bicycle so much, she wrote a MySpace blog entry extolling the many virtues of bicycles. Several weeks later it morphed into “Fiori Modena, a love song for my bicycle”.
Alcorn currently rides two bikes. Fiori is set up on a trainer for indoor rides and her outdoor winter workhorse this year is her BRC, about which she also recently wrote a rap song: “It’s got 21 speeds to fulfill my needs, the armchair-i-est of my trusty two wheeled steeds... a fat cushion-ee seat, the gear shifters are sweet and studded tires in the winter for the snow and sleet.”
Daily bicycle commuting through the streets of Toronto exposes the sights, sounds and smells of the city in a way that no other modes of transportation can. When asked to describe her perfect ride, Alcorn spoke of her ride earlier that day. “It started great because today was slightly less freezing cold in Toronto than it was yesterday. It continued to be great because somewhere along College Street, between Lansdowne and Ossington, I caught a waft of mysterious yumminess. Then guess what happened? On my way home the yumminess was still in that spot and still a mystery. Sort of smelled like someone was making fresh waffle cones from their secret extra delicious recipe. So yeah, perfect ride!”
Recently nominated for two Canadian East Coast Music Awards, Alcorn will spend much of 2010 on the road touring across Canada and working on a new record. Additionally, Alcorn is hoping to release a home-packaged EP of bike songs in early 2011 from contributions collected over the next year. If you’re interested in telling Coco Love Alcorn a story about the bike you love (stats, bike’s name, description), she may write a song about it on her next EP. Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Coco Love Alcorn, refer to: cocolovealcorn.com