Raine Hamilton “Brave Land”

Independent, 2021

An LP that starts well but struggles as it goes on.

Raine Hamilton’s chamber-folk album has moments of real quality, but also moments where she seems to lose sight of what she wants the album to be.  The album starts strong, with ‘Brave Land’ which immediately transports you to the mountains. Hamilton’s vocals instantly will remind you of the highlands and almost feel more Scottish than Canadian. The folk guitar riffs and ethereal chanting brings the song together well and sets the album off to a good start. It’s not surprising that Hamilton chose this to be the title track of the LP.

If ‘Brave Land‘ didn’t remind you of the mountains, then ‘Over the Mountain‘ will. The tranquillity of the song makes it one that you can idly sway to while it plays. This contrasts well with ‘Believer’ which is much more of a foot-tapping track.

The songs throughout the first half of the album remain rooted in this folk essence, but it’s the second half of the album, which contains an instrumental track, where it begins to falter.  ‘Dreamer’ doesn’t quite have the edge of the rest of the tracks and ‘Dominae Sanctae’ feels out of place on the LP.

Overall, the album is solid but struggles to maintain its initial good moments throughout. Raine Hamilton has performed at a variety of festivals across Canada, and it’s certain that you’ll continue to hear her lyric-centred songs and folk music in the future.


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