Saturday, May 2, 2009

Reviews:: Klarka Weinwurm EP

It’s always a good sign when an artist you like randomly suggests you to listen to someone else’s music. Such was the case last week when Jon McKiel suggested we take a listen to Halifax-based song writer Klarka Weinwurm. Obviously since he's been known to share the stage with Klarka he might be biased, but for me it goes back to simple idea that talent attracts talent ideal, not misguided musical nepotism.

Klarka’s debut EP – labeled with the creative title EP – is full of the type of songs you’d expect to hear after a late night when the sun starts to creep over the horizon and only your closest friends are left around. The honesty and fragility revealed over a few spare strums aren’t something you share with a stranger. I know how horribly generic that overused description is, and honestly, it casts a poor light on Klarka’s work, but these aren't uptempo strums and sing-along choruses. There’s little worse than picturing another coffee shop entertainer alienating patrons with grim tales set to spare and disjointed arrangements, but make no mistake, Klarka’s songs grab your attention instantly.

Sure, over the six songs she weaves some eerie tales (thanks to the creepy strings that float on Explorer and Wood Stove Fires), but Weinwurm isn’t indebted to the swirl and ghosts that plague most acts experimenting with the same subject matter and tones. Warm and inviting, the gentle picking that backs the Toronto transplant’s voice is comfortable blanket or sweater you can use to ease the chill she often delivers with her voice. The familiar sounds and reassuring strums help take the sting out of sentiments like "evil all around" or traditional imagery like an ominous crow peering through your window.

The ukulele ditty (True North) that closes the recording channels some of the joy that has surfaced in Julie Doiron’s music of late and shows that Klarka isn’t strictly trapped in the shadows. Sure the song turns out to be a heartfelt apology, but whether it's vulnerability, regret or even the brief flash of optimism she offers when she admits, "we’re getting much better at this" on Can You Go For A Walk, Klarka shows that this EP just scratches the surface of what she has to offer musically and who she is as a person.

MP3:: Klarka Weinwurm - Wood Stove Fires

MP3:: Klarka Weinwurm - True North

Be sure to check out Klarka play with Dan Ledwell and Thomas/Richard on Wednesday @ Tribeca, or her EP release show @ The Paragon on May 20th with Jon and Ruth Minnikin and her Bandwagon.

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Posted at 1:26 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Smansmith did sayeth:

Nice find/recommendation. Love the stripped down bedroom folk experience. Her, Ledwell and T/R would be a nice little packaged show as well - sometimes wish I was just a bit more East!


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