Claire Coupland “On The Other Side” EP (Independent, 2018)

For a self-released EP from an unestablished artist, Claire Coupland delivers a highly professional, and indeed astonishingly polished production. All 5 tracks are strong, individual and, whether it was intentional or not, go straight for the mainstream. Hailing originally from Vancouver Island, but now based in Toronto, Coupland has a beautiful, clear alto with both a powerful and tender delivery. Smooth and pure, her voice is the initial obvious talent, but this is backed by deft fingerpicking, strong songwriting and confident delivery.

Lead off track and single ‘Bound For Love’ is extremely catchy, accompanied by a sweet travelogue video showing off West Coast Canada, and it’s so good to hear a positive optimistic song, especially with the confidence and crunch in the track’s finale. ‘Fleet Street’ surprises with sax, but then comes the treat, with ‘Love in Your Eyes’ swathed in dreamy pedal steel. The waltz in ‘Get Outta This Town’ is delivered with a strong band performance and ‘This One’s For The Road’ finishes the EP with a strong beat. Claire Coupland shows that it isn’t essential to be edgy to get a reaction, with a smooth secure talent being quite enough to make an impression.

8/10

Summary

Impressive taster from clear and engaging Canuck

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