Thursday, August 25, 2011


Bruce Peninsula member Tamara Lindeman brings her second solo discs as The Weather Station, with a dramatic shift. Working with the folk-country-acoustic-obsessed Daniel Romano, Lindeman waltzed right into his style like she was born to it. Recorded with great warmth, clarity and closeness, the tunes fall somewhere between ancient folk melodies and 60's revival, and if you added a little hiss and dropped the harmonies, this could be the work of some previously undiscovered mountain gal. Oh, that is until they get a little wild with the drums, like with Know It To See It, which turns into a pretty cool blues.

It's a pretty simple affair, if you count the number of parts. There are voices, guitars, mostly acoustic, some banjo, bass, a touch of pedal steel, that drum, and well-used violin. This was a match made in indie heaven, because Lindeman sounds so great in this setting, the quality and purity of her voice shining through, and there are wonderful harmonies all along, with Bruce Peninsula cohort Misha Bower, and well as Romano joining. Lindeman's sweetness keeps the quiet tunes positive and dreamy. And on noisier ones, like Nobody, she gets downright old-timey, with a twang that's more Gillian Welch than southern Ontario.

The great thing about this style is how, by stripping back, the melodies and harmonies are revealed. The singing, and the acoustic guitar is allowed to carry the tune, and blossom. Listening to Lindeman hit these notes with such emotion, join in the parts with her friends, and get to the core of the song, is magic. And by sympathetically letting the songs travel back in time, by using banjo and violin and the like, gives the music more substance. There's nothing particularly old in the words of the lyrics, but it's the way they are sung. As you can tell, I'm already sold on Romano, and thrilled Lindeman has brought her voice and songs to the picture.

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