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Former Tragically Hip bassist Gord Sinclair will release his debut solo album Taxi Dancers on Feb. 28, a record he created while processing the loss of Hip front man Gord Downie.

Andrew Budziak/The Canadian Press

Former Tragically Hip bassist Gord Sinclair says he’ll reflect on friendship and loss with his upcoming debut solo album.

The Kingston, Ont.-based musician has marked Feb. 28 to release “Taxi Dancers,” a 10-track album he created while processing the loss of Hip ringleader Gord Downie, who died of brain cancer in late 2017.

The album is described in a press release as “a farewell of sorts, fearlessly exploring Sinclair’s despair about losing a lifelong friend and bandmate. But it is also a clear-eyed survey of what’s good in the world, and a profound statement about why sorrow must be viewed in tandem with joy.”

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Sinclair, the fourth member of the Hip to release a solo project, says he named the album after the Depression-era custom of dance partners, particularly women, being hired to dance with male patrons at social events. He added that “it’s like the entertainment industry where we’re paid to dance and then move on.”

Two singles from the upcoming album were released Friday on digital sales and streaming platforms – “It’s Already Too Late,” which carries echoes of the Hip’s influence, and “In the Next Life,” a sombre contemplation on mortality.

“Taxi Dancers” was co-produced by Sinclair and John-Angus MacDonald of Nova Scotia-founded alt-rock band the Trews at the Hip member’s Kingston, Ont. home, which was converted into a temporary studio last summer for the album.

Sinclair will open for the Trews on seven upcoming Ontario tour dates, which include stops in Guelph (Feb. 28), Milton (March 6), Brampton (March 7) and Oakville (March 11).

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