The newest release on earnest Ontario label Other Songs is a fitting welcome for winter. I felt lucky to finally experience it myself when I left the desert to visit the midwest this past weekend. Snow fell for an hour in Minneapolis on my final day in the city; the neighborhood where I was staying was quiet save for the sighing trees shedding leaves as wind passed through. Scott Orr whispered through my headphones his fragile musings on relationships all the while; his new record, Worried Mind, pushes through seasonal affective disorder to find peace.

Whether with regard to partners or family, Orr has a lot on his mind. It may not always be anxiety, as the album’s title may suggest, but he does reflect on it. The least ambiguous appearance comes in “A Memory,” when he implores us to ditch the disquiet, asking, “Why are you always worried?” He begs for understanding, but is more heavily focused on working through his own emotions.

I can only imagine how heavy the snowfall gets in Hamilton, where Orr is from. The reflected sunlight can cause a first-degree burn if any skin is left uncovered, which is a doubly poor decision, knowing that the weather was cold enough to have produced that much snow in the first place. Perhaps it is this type of predetermined defeat that Orr mourns in the opening track, “Sunburned.” A press release defined this as a song about the tumult of marriage, apt for winter sun damage.

Then again, the sunburns in “Halfway” come as a form of affection in early stages of romance. This and the following song are two parts of the same poem, joyfully describing the feeling of falling in love with care taken to show the fall itself. Another reference to searing sunlight implies that the leftover mark may be the uncomfortable reality of being in love. Orr believes it to be worth the temporary blemish.

His gentle cadence leaves a warmth that can overshadow the record’s solemnity, while preserving the significance of the emotions themselves. Worried Mind feels Orr’s lyrics deeply, with room for hushed synthesizers and shy guitar strums to swell. Its inherent tranquility will complement the cold months, without losing sight of spring.