Patrick Downie on losing Gord, hearing ‘peace’ in posthumous album ‘Away is Mine’

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TORONTO — Gord Downie’s brother Patrick says he wonders what his older sibling might’ve said about these uncertain times.

Whether it’s the devastating effects of climate change, isolation in the pandemic or the stalled progress of reconciliation, the absence of the late Canadian troubadour’s voice is palpable for many fans.

And Patrick says he feels a similar void at home.

But he insists it’s a “fruitless exercise” to suppose how 2020 would’ve been viewed by the Tragically Hip frontman.

Instead, we have the sliver of time captured on “Away From Me,” a collection of 10 recordings Downie made in the summer before he died from brain cancer in October 2017.

Patrick Downie says that when he listens to the album he hears the voice of someone “coming to grips with their life, the certainty of death, and being at peace with it.”