Over the course of 11 tracks, RBT chronicles her life and all the vignettes that make up her larger journey. Themes of love, loss, and lessons mark major milestones, capturing her life through the artistic lens from which she sees the world.
The album kicks off with a haunting window into domesticity. “Perfect Heart” is the perfect introduction to RBT’s strong voice and affinity for tender guitar melodies. “Sitting in silence they watch their TV / She stares beyond the walls and mediocrity,” she sings over gentle piano, as she continues to describe this good and giving wife with a perfect heart.
This song seamlessly melds into her single “Strong,” a tale about letting go of love that no longer serves your best interests. Much easier said than done – and she knows this – as she sings, “How do you say goodbye and move along / How is anyone that strong?” More upbeat, there’s a rhythmic drum beat underneath these painfully relatable lyrics.
In keeping with themes of love, RBT describes her single, “In Paris,” as “the narrative of experiencing the past, the present, and the future, all in one moment.” This delicate and powerful story, told over tastefully plucked guitar notes, encourages her audience to live in the moment. It’s as fleeting as it is precious.
Finger picking acoustic guitar continues in “Barely,” as RBT describes the act of finding herself after parting ways with a loved one. All the little pieces of someone that become a part of your shared lives, the same pieces which slowly begin to fade once they’re gone. She meets us with a chorus of “I can feel you standing here with me / But barely.” The song breaks into haunting harmonies about saying goodbye, which she does, eventually.
“Look Up” acts as an antidote to these feelings of longing. “Everything will be okay if you / Look up,” she sings, reminding us that we are all under the same stars, the same sky, never as far from friends and family as we may feel. It was written and performed with her co-writing partner North Easton, as is the song “One More Line.”
She closes out the album with the powerful and titular “Sorry I’m Late,” a tale of life’s responsibilities and how they may get in the way of showing up for oneself. This title track captures the theme of the whole project: the determination to continue on.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, RBT is the curator for the New York-based global songwriting initiative The Acoustic Guitar Project, the founder and head songwriter of That First Song, and the founder of The Collabor8tors, a group of eight Canadian songwriters sharing their co-writing insights. She’s an established figure in the Canadian folk music scene and beyond, originally establishing herself as the lead vocalist and principal songwriter for bands Daystar, Niteskool, and Bakersmith.
More recently, Sorry I’m Late found its way to #1 on CFBX 92.5 Kamloops, BC’s Top 10 Roots Albums, along with “Sorry I’m Late” landing at #7 on Banks Radio Australia’s Top 10 Singles.
Rosanne Baker Thornley sings these delicate songs not as cautionary tales to protect your heart or abstain from love, but to embrace it, to know your worth, and, when you get the chance, take a moment to look up.