‘The New Pornographers’ replacement keyboard player ‘Kathryn Calder’ today releases her third solo LP. Once gain the artist shuns the loud, brash pop of her Canadian Super-group to release a stunningly beautiful collection of songs that far outweigh the content of her first two albums.
Calder’s first two releases were chalk and cheese. 2010’s ‘Are You My Mother?’ was a mournful slow-tempo ode to her dying mother while 2011’s ‘Bright and Vivid’ was equally as reflective but was partnered with synths and electronica. For her self-titled third solo outing the artist has cleverly combined the two to create a selection of music that, while delicate, is rarely sombre.
Opening tracks ‘Slow Burning’ and ‘Beach’ offer the albums direction. Both offer minimal instrumentation and at times hushed vocals allowing the wonderful melodies and lyrics to take centre stage. Strangely though it’s the indie-pop synth-heavy ‘Take a Little Time’ that steals the show. It rebels against its musical bed-fellows giving the listener an opportunity to momentarily escape from the slower paced material.
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Like the previous albums this release was again produced by Calder’s husband ‘Colin Stewart’. The connection between the two is quite obvious throughout and there appear to be genuine moments of intimacy throughout the LP.
This is clearly another quite personal release from Calder. Everything seems to have a place and at no time do you feel that the LP contains a ‘filler track’ or ‘b-side’. Everything on show has been considered and re-considered. In recent interviews the artist as stated that this LP was a second attempt, following an albums worth of material that was discarded.
This self-titled release has something about it that has made me revisit it on a number of occasions. It’s not a mood album but neither is it one that remains on the turn-table. However, its obvious longevity and durability could be why it’s Calder’s strongest release to date.
Kathryn Calder’s self-titled LP is out now.
The full track-listing for the self-titled ‘Kathryn Calder’ LP is as follows…
‘Take a Little Time’
‘When You See My Blood’
‘Song in Cm’
‘Pride by Design’
‘Arm in Arm’