Filling releases with soaring vocals and haunting melodies, it's hard to believe that Sheard was on stage in the early '90s as a comedian with Toronto's Second City Master Class prior to pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter. She soon realized that she was more a fan of performing the songs than acting them out. With Love and Squalor followed, with the title taken from For Esme, With Love and Squalor, from J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories. Sheard used the unlikely duo of Salinger and Joni Mitchell as inspiration. Two years of traveling and touring brought different experiences and emotions to her next album, the 1999 release Reptilian. She returned to the studio in the spring of 2002, spending a few months working on new material until it shaped into Anemone, which was released that fall.
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