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Screenshot from "Hunkered Down in a Government Town" video/YouTube.

Area Resident releases a new COVID-19 inspired track, “Hunkered Down in a Government Town”

By Livia Belcea on April 7, 2020

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Ottawans and people around the world are finding new ways to cope with the uncertainty and gravity of the situation. For local musician Doug Hempstead, this meant taking the time during isolation to record and release the second track from his fifth Area Resident album.

Cover of Area Resident’s fifth album. Art by Andrew King.

“Hunkered Down in a Government Town” was released on April 3 and is the product of a crowd-sourcing process, in which Doug invited local musicians and creatives, who are also at home in isolation, to contribute lyrics inspired by COVID-19.

After selecting three lines that particularly resonated with him musically, Doug created the track from an existing melody he composed for his new album, and then sent it off to his trusted friend, musician and Area Resident producer Jordon Zadorozny of Blinker The Star, to polish it off.

In just a couple of days, the new song was ready for release. The track was then sent to local artist Andrew King, who hopped in his classic car, drove around to capture stunning shots of our city’s landmarks, and then created a beautiful music video infused with vintage and retro vibes that are proper to both his and Area Resident’s aesthetic.

With his pandemic-themed song, Area Resident hopes to offer a bit of lighthearted comfort, as we all struggle to find a bit of solace during this challenging time. He encourages those who can to support the local artists who live from their craft, as we will have to work together and support each other as we rebuild our communities once we come out of this on the other side.

You can listen to “Hunkered Down in a Government Town” on Bandcamp, Apple Music and Spotify.