Saturday, November 1, 2014


In these days of red-carpet culture and celebrity worship, I find myself drawn more and more to the opposite end, the singer-songwriter, doing it as simply as possible. Here we have the new-old songs of Steph Cameron, acoustic guitar and voice, and hard-truth folk music. Aside from the studio and microphones used to capture it, she can and does make this music wherever she wants, currently out of B.C. There's a bit of fun, some sadness, some tales, and some personal truths, all from her own experiences. Mostly, they sound like the songs average people wrote in the 20's and 30's, faced with depression and hardships, when they didn't know whether to cry or laugh about it. There are benefits to both.

Sometimes the hurts are temporary, a lover gone, in Cry Baby. Other times they are permanent and scarring, like the parent's shotgun suicide in Ellis Pine, the howling of wolves a painful reminder that follows the singer through life. There is no mention of the city and modern life here, it's all rural and natural imagery, but somehow seems all that more real for it. It's the type of music that always sounds better as spare as can be, and Cameron does it with a pure voice and hypnotic playing. There's no need for anything else.

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