This year, there will be several new albums coming from Canada’s northern territories. One of them is from Mary Caroline, who resides near the great Canadian northcity of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Actually, she lives 600 kilometers north from the capital city, living in a remote trapper’s cabin that is just below the Arctic Circle. Now you might be asking what is she doing living so far north. When she isn’t writing music, she’s working on the show “Ice Lake Rebels”, which is on Animal Planet in the US and the Discovery Channel Canada. The show is kind of like “Duck Dynasty”, except these are genuine people living off the grid in Canada’s frozen tundra.
But back to Caroline. Last week, she released her third album and first studio effort, Life on Earth. Recorded at Catherine North Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, the eight-track album is filled with folk-pop tunes in the mode of Natalie Merchant and even a dash of Canadian icon, Buffy Sainte-Marie. The key with folk-pop isn’t necessarily trying to reinvent the genre but paying respect to its origins and beauty, and Caroline does just that.
“Falling”, the third track on the album, is one of the standouts with its terrific second half. “Full Moon” is a romantic ballad that recalls Shawn Colvin.
Maybe the most surprising trait of the album is that it radiates like sunshine. Most of the album is upbeat and positive, and it doesn’t wallow in dark, deep sounds or melodies. The title track and “Songs of Winter”, for example, are almost cheery and smile inducing. They exhibit the optimism of Caroline, where even in the darkest corners of the planet she is able to find light.
You can pick up Life on Earth on Mary Caroline’s Bandcamp page and iTunes. Mary Caroline will be attending the Folk Alliance International Music Fair, which takes place from February 19 to 22 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Fair is a prestigious event, as only about 200 artists are invited to participate. Caroline will be recording her experience at the fair as part of a documentary. En route, she will be making stops in Saskatchewan. Check her website for details. Good luck Mary Caroline!
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