Don’t judge an album by its cover – this collection of eight songs from Montreal singer/songwriter Chris Velan is represented by a simple screenprint of a Mexican wrestling mask, but the acoustic tunes with peppers of electronics and haunting back ups is endearing and not the party record I thought when I first picked it up (yeah, rookie mistake, but TBH it kept me from listening to the record for months). “Waking Heart” is a sparse chant with echos to spare, while “Hang On Tightly” is a ukulele-lead jammer with thunderous stomps down an invisible hallway. Yeah, ambiance plays a big part on this one, but closer “Did We Ever Have a Chance” is beautifully fleshed out and the definite stand out of the disc, featuring beautiful female back ups and a little percussion and organ to kick things into old-timey rock territory. It’s a solid effort, seek it out.
Published in Volume 68, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 22, 2014)
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