12 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sarah Harmer reaffirms her gift for closely-observed, finely-wrought songwriting on Oh Little Fire, her first new album in four years. After taking a break to work as an environmental advocate, the Canadian singer/songwriter returns to her craft with a refreshed perspective and a strengthened sense of melody. She also benefits from Gavin Brown’s production, which adds some astringent guitar and propulsive rhythms to her dreamy style of folk-pop. Harmer’s bemused, often bittersweet take on human relationships are expressed in quick, deft lyric strokes — tunes like “New Loneliness,” “The Marble in Your Eyes” and “Washington” are at once vivid and subtly evocative. “Captive” and “Late Bloomer” come from her sweeter side, though even these songs retain a wry edge. Though all the tracks here are solid, “Silverado” (a duet with Neko Case) stands out for its spacey blend of alt-country sounds and gorgeously visionary language. Harmer’s wistful vocal style — reminiscent of Leigh Nash and Leslie Feist – makes each track feel like a personal confession.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sarah Harmer reaffirms her gift for closely-observed, finely-wrought songwriting on Oh Little Fire, her first new album in four years. After taking a break to work as an environmental advocate, the Canadian singer/songwriter returns to her craft with a refreshed perspective and a strengthened sense of melody. She also benefits from Gavin Brown’s production, which adds some astringent guitar and propulsive rhythms to her dreamy style of folk-pop. Harmer’s bemused, often bittersweet take on human relationships are expressed in quick, deft lyric strokes — tunes like “New Loneliness,” “The Marble in Your Eyes” and “Washington” are at once vivid and subtly evocative. “Captive” and “Late Bloomer” come from her sweeter side, though even these songs retain a wry edge. Though all the tracks here are solid, “Silverado” (a duet with Neko Case) stands out for its spacey blend of alt-country sounds and gorgeously visionary language. Harmer’s wistful vocal style — reminiscent of Leigh Nash and Leslie Feist – makes each track feel like a personal confession.

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