Daniel, Fred, and Julie
Daniel, Fred, and Julie
Daniel Romano, Fred Squire, and Julie Dorion made names for themselves in Canada's fascinating indie music scene separately. Each created their unique voice and brand, masterfully manipulating their craft and gaining respect throughout many different musical circles. Here, they came together to deliver a folk record that's genuine, convicting, and ultimately timeless.
Recorded to sound like the old folk records of the 30's and 40's, DF&J covered and created 10 songs that are hauntingly beautiful, period accurate, and immediately classic. "The Gambler and His Bride" kicks off the record, setting the over-all tone for the audience. The following tunes don't stray from the traditional style but never become boring. The finger picked guitar and gorgeous three part harmonies transport the listener far away to a campfire sing along in 1935. Everything you'd expect to hear is delivered, from the old style guitar runs to the older style lyrics, portraying themes of mining towns to rambling around. Plus the fact that these three musicians seem to take on a character and transform into the folk singers of the past, makes it all completely believable.
Its 10 songs flow by seamlessly, and it all comes to a graceful end far too soon. DF&J is a perfect record to have on in the background for hanging out on your porch with a cup of coffee in the early morning chill. Its relaxed nature eases you and transports you far from your worries.
This Ottawa band has been on my radar for many years. Their methods of intertwining snappy rhythm and simple guitar melodies into young sounding, danceable, catchy tunes are unmatched. When one listens to Heron Act you can't help but bob your head and get completely into the music. This collection of songs was compiled from radio re-records and captures The Acorn in such a natural, vulnerable way.
Apparently these songs retell the story of the bandleader's mother making her way to Canada from South America, each highlighting a point in the journey with unbelievable poetics and honesty. The acoustic percussion on the album shines, providing the perfect canvas for the finger picked guitar to run wild. Rarely does a band configure their songs to sound so disorderly, yet completely together. In deciphering the instruments, everything is surprisingly simple but when wrapped together these seemingly innocent sounds create something complex and busy. The rhythm and melody sections almost turn into one instrument and the vocals are what adds the structure.
Album highlights are definitely "Crooked Legs", "Dents", "Flood Pt. 2", and "Low Gravity" for its outstanding guitar work and melodic hooks. I can't stress enough how impressive the percussion is throughout this record. But I think the thing that really impresses me most is that each of these songs were recorded live, and is a true testament to the talent of each band member.