“‘Tommy’ is about a neighbour that Neil and I had when we lived on Caledonia St. in Toronto,” vocalist/guitarist Melanie St-Pierre explained in a statement. “He was an older British man and we would exchange pleasantries sometimes, but I never learned his real name.” She continued:
Items started mysteriously appearing in the bus shelter in front of his house. Thoughtful, curious, or useful things seemed to be planted there to bring people joy. It began happening more frequently and eventually I saw him placing something in there. I had this odd connection to him like I might be one of the only people who knew it was him doing this, which inspired me to write a song about him. Knowing next to nothing about him, I decided to make up an entire life story. Maybe he immigrated to Toronto a long time ago and perhaps met his wife here and had kids? Perhaps she passed away not long ago due to an illness? Who knows. The song is driven by mystery. The same sort of mystery he gave me.
Knows No Kindness, the follow-up to 2017’s Mercy Works, is out November 12 via Next Door Records.