Kathryn Calder – Bright and Vivid

So obviously my flood of music reviews is looking more like a trickle at the moment, but I’m finding it tricky to sort through all my thoughts so I can articulate what makes an album great before I recommend it. Typically with music I go by gut feel – love it or hate it. I definitely have a lot of respect for music writers who manage to put these things into words without sounding overly poetic and sentimental. 🙂

I’m excited about sharing this find: Pretty much my favourite album from all of this past year was “Bright and Vivid”, a solo departure for Kathryn Calder who’s more commonly seen behind the mic and keyboards for Canadian indie rockers  ‘The New Pornographers’. It’s a bright and poppy album with lots of rich fantastic layers of instrumentation and vocals, a bit of a maritime feel, but with undertones of a kind of dreamy melancholy.

Kathryn did a series of interviews when the album launched where she revealed that, during the course of creating her past two albums (both released in the same year), her life was detoured by both of her parents passing away. I can definitely hear it in the music. On the first listen it feels light and fun, but the more you listen the more you discover the deep and moody undercurrents in both the lyrics and instrumentals. It’s really that complex interplay between up and downbeat that makes this album so intriguing to me, and keeps me coming back to listen to it over and over. Every listen is different for me – still.

This is a fantastic album to listen to in the car on a late night drive, or curled up with a warm tea watching the rain. The lyrics are deep but charming, and Kathryn’s got a great voice and vision, and every song on the album is a solid part of the whole. It’s a really amazing body of work from an artist I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to before she went solo.

This is another tour I regret missing when it came through Ottawa – but I had a few friends attend her concert at Raw Sugar, and to a person they tell me that it was a fantastic show. I’m hoping she finds an excuse to make her way out here again sometime soon, I can’t wait for her next visit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *