Friday, August 29th, 2008
Photo by Carolyn Desislets
For alt.country-inclined female artists, the shadow of Lucinda Williams looms large, and justifiably so – an artist could do far worse than to forge a career like hers, channeling toughness and tenderness through a world-worn rasp and masterfully evocative songwriting. No, being compared to Lucinda is no faint praise, assuming it’s justified. So it’s interesting that not one but two such artists would emerge from Canada in the last few years. The first would be Ottawa’s Kathleen Edwards, who has gone on to some considerable success evoking the rockier side of Lucinda, and the other is Montreal-based Angela Desveaux, who takes a more pop-oriented approach to things.
Like her 2006 debut Wandering Eyes, Desveaux’s new record The Mighty Ship is a well-considered balance of jangling, upbeat melodicism and pensive, downcast weepers, perhaps heavier on the atmospherics and with some welcome orchestral embellishments but hardly light years away. Though the recipe at work is a well-used one, it’s made exceptional by the six-string accentuation Snailhouse and Wooden Stars guitarist Mike Feuerstack (another parallel with Edwards is the savvy move of building her band around a shit-hot guitarist) and Desveaux’s own voice – a heartbreaking combination of sugar, twang and sigh – and her pen. Her songs manage to simultaneously emphasize her wide-eyed and optimistic youthful side as well as the experience of one who’s endured her own share of wear, weariness and heartbreak.
Leading up to the release of the record on September 9, Desveaux and band are playing a series of release shows in Ontario and Quebec and courtesy of Sonic Unyon I’ve got some stuff and passes to give away – three copies of the new record on CD and two pairs of passes to give away to either of the September 4 show at the Boat in Toronto or the September 5 show at the Black Sheep Inn in Ottawa. We’re talking three winners – one CD only, two CD and passes. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with either “I want the Angela Desveaux CD” or “I want to see Angela Desveaux in (name of city)” in the subject line and your full mailing address in the body. Contest is open to anyone in Canada, though obviously for the shows you should be in the greater Toronto/Ottawa regions. Or really hardcore. Whichever. Contest closes at midnight, September 2.
There’s more installments in Okkervil River’s covers project for The Stand-Ins, these ones featuring Jack Ladder, Bon Iver and Bird Of Youth. That’s more than half of them! The record is out September 9, they play the Phoenix on October 12.
Jolie Holland has a date at the Horseshoe on October 29. Her new record The Living and The Dead is out October 7.
Blurt talkst to guitarist Phil Wandscher and waxes nostalgic for Whiskeytown’s Strangers Almanac. In the present, Ryan Adams is releasing a novel as well as getting into blog-wars with Drowned In Sound.