What do you call a folk singer/songwriter when Folk Is Dead? Perhaps these boxes are finally being bust open and we can use the term artist so now then Kalle Mattson is an artists. The Ottawa-based singer/songwriter (dang) has an artistic sensibility, he builds to the subject rather than the frame. His latest, long time coming, takes a turn for the electronic and the electronica; possibly folktronica along the lines of KASHKA or maybe the same artist can put out Harvest and Trans and still be Neil Young, whatever. Whatever Kalle Mattson is doing it is always worth a listen. Here's the track, "Broken In Two" in a familiar frame and in its actual album version, a track broken in two so speak.
BEAMS are playing the Moustache Club Thursday Apr 5. Annie Sumi is opening. BEAMS have a new album, Teach Me To Love.
By Will McGuirk
Berlin baby, it has the pull, the pull of the nightlife - Cabaret and Kraftwerk, Bowie, Reed, Iggy and Peaches, It’s a Feistian bargain BEAMS has struck, the capital of cool imbues the Toronto band’s latest album, ‘Teach Me to Love’ but there is an accessibility, dare one say pop, to the avant-folk ramblings of Anna Mernieks, brothers Keith and David Hamilton, Heather Mazhar, Mike Duffield, Craig Moffatt and Martin Crawford.
The album marches in with simple sturdy strident sounds, mix up Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love” and Neil Young’s “Computer Age” and then play lead on a banjo or conversely just listen to the first three tracks. BEAMS play synth-pop who knew with nary a synthesizer in sight, I’m looking at you “Live In The Real World”.
“Pull of the Night” has Martha & The Muffins “like a loaf of bread in the oven you look good to me” baked in - could be the accent.
The journey through the anything goes world of Berlin the Myth continues on “I Notice Every One” which flutters on every one from Dave Brubeck to Focus to the Beatles.
As the album progresses it moves into more prog-folk territory, with the music becoming a subtle cradle for the voices of Mernieks and Mazhar, sonics ease, less stilted Kraftwerk more the wash of Tangerine Dream, albeit covering “Heroes”, as though nothing could fall.
Ultimately its the harmonies which hold up BEAMS and with such a strong core the band can play around with the walls, whether them walls be from Berlin or no.
No videos yet for the new album but here’s some oldies but goodies.