Thursday, April 25, 2013


A sixth collection from the B.C. troubadour.  Penner's dramatic sounds come partially from a different time.  The title cut feels like a prison holler, a desperate blues from a condemned man.  This Could Be You Anthem is a Harvest outtake, but lonelier, no James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt easing the pain.  No Consequence, with its distorted vocals and trashcan percussion, is nasty gospel tale:  "You wanna ride with no consequence/may the good Lord take you in self-defense."  Memphis is folk-rap, a banjo tune with hip-hop rhythm.

Created by Penner with just cohort Jon Wood and a spot of guest brass, the two have a deft touch for taking basic folk instruments and shifting the whole thing slightly out of focus.  Ukeleles, banjo, guitars, stomps and claps are done like they've played for a couple of centuries, but then the trickery comes in, textures that take us out of the present and into a less conscious place.  Yes, it's just some sort of plug-in effects, but the point is how well they do it.

Funny thing is, it's never eerie, or negative.  These are serious songs, visceral, about big feelings and fears, but altogether human, and tentatively hopeful.  I'll go back to the gospel music comparison, there's certainly some fear, but there's more faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment