Canadian Folk Songs that Flow With Grace and a Delicate Intimacy.
This is another album that nearly fell by the wayside; primarily because I had mis-filed it on my I-Phone; only for it to ‘pop up’ quite by accident one morning last week, on my constitutional stroll around the ‘hood.’
While I was actually expecting some loudish Country Rock; the starkly beautiful Melt took me by surprise that I actually stopped in my tracks. At first it was to find the album I wanted, but by the time I’d took my gloves off and was fiddling with the buttons; I was already smitten.
What a beautiful and pearlescent voice this young lady has; and the chill in this tale of lost love actually made me glow faster than a bowl of Ready Brek.
Coincidentally Terra uses the metaphor of a melting snowflake for the ‘warmth her lover’ showed her; which shows what an articulate writer Ms Spencer is.
Although my walk was meant to at quite a fast pace; this collection of delicate and languid stories was the perfect accompaniment; possibly because of the bright Autumnal sunshine and cold wind; or possibly because I was just in an old-romantic mood.
Normally with Folk Singers; and that’s undoubtedly what Terra Spencer is; I try to imagine what the songs will sound like stripped back to just an acoustic guitar when played live; but not this time.
As most readers know, I try not to read Press Releases too early; as I like to make my own mind up about the music; and I’d already decided Terra must be Canadian when I got home and read her bio; and she is; from Nova Scotia actually.
I don’t know why but Canadian singer-songwriters have a ‘certain something’ that other English speaking nations don’t ….. go figure.
While the bio says the songs are all written with a ‘Canadian Winter as a backdrop’; I can’t disagree; but to me there’s a sense of loneliness and longing that weaves their way through too; most noticeably on the intense and theatrical In The City; which is just waiting to be included in a sad Rom-Com; just before the couple ‘accidentally meet and get back together again’ IMHO.
At first the title track Chasing Rabbits sounds like charm personified; as Terra compares herself to her slightly faulty puppy dog; but listen two, three or more times and her words unravel like a stray thread on your favourite sweater and if you don’t then have tears in your eyes; you’re listening to the wrong LP!
It’s a brave songwriter who can pull off a song like Coyotes. I’m not going to spoil it for you; but the first time I heard it I couldn’t believe my ears as it actually sounds like a short ‘Thriller Story’ bordering on the Gothic; but I’ve come back to it several times in the last few days.
To some intents and purposes CHASING RABBITS is for playing on a long dark and preferably cold evening, snuggled up on the sofa with the lights turned down low and a flickering fire across the room; only then; like a good robust red wine; will you get the best out of Lunenburg Moon, Manitoba Maple and most importantly Training to Fly (which is another weepy).
No two songs are the same here; be that in setting or actual musical construction; but there’s a definite golden thread that holds them all together; which is best shown by the two songs that close the record and actually tie for the accolade of Favourite Song.
While I can only presume there’s at least a little bit of Terra’s own life in every song here; the words and story in Feels Like Home surely must be autobiographical?
Another song that I really and truly don’t want to spoil for you; but Terra Spencer really captures the loneliness someone can feel moving away from home to ‘live the dream’ in a way I’ve not heard for many years.
This is followed by Saigon; which could easily be the same young woman several years later; deeply in love … but is the magic and romance still there?
Who’s to say?
You’re left to make your own mind up.
Terra Spencer’s songs flow and grow with a grace that comes from her luscious and intricate arrangements; be that the occasional flourish of electric piano, a swooping cello or violin and when that trumpet makes an appearance the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.
These songs aren’t for small Folk Clubs, they are destined for Concert Halls with audiences sitting in awe of the talent on stage.
#I haven’t even mentioned that in her parallel life; Tera Spencer is an actual Funeral Director!
Released November 6th 2020
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