A filmmaker and songwriter from Calgary in Canada, Danielle French delivers here nine songs she crafted while attending a series of songwriters’ workshops, the songs co-writes with fellow attendees and for the most part recorded with her co writers. Despite this plethora of contributors French keeps a firm hand on the tiller to deliver a strong set of songs that can probably be best described as slightly psychedelic folk with some dusty Americana and Weimer Republic cabaret thrown in for good measure.
Raven has the appropriate, slightly husky, voice for this adventure and the settings; chamber strings, glockenspiel, autoharp, accordion and humming wine glass rims allied to bursts of regular percussion and twanged guitar conjure up a fine dislocation of the senses. A carnival of sounds. She is seductive on the turbulent reveries of “Take My Love” and bawdy on “This Is Why We Drink,” a song that does recall Tom Waits’ days in a Singapore dive with only Marc Ribot for company. “Did You Want Me” sweeps along with the desert urgency of Calexico’s Ballad Of Cable Hogue and the closing instrumental, “Last Goodbye,” is a lysergic rabbit hole that could grace the end credits of anyone from Leone and Jodorowsky to Tarantino. At the very least it’s an intriguing listen.
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A fine set of unsettling folk reveries