faith healer Try ;-) (LP, £15.25)label: mint
Gatefold sleeve When Edmonton's Jessica Jalbert first began performing solo under the name Faith Healer, the alias was her way of avoiding being pigeonholed as a singer-songwriter. Now, however, times have changed: Faith Healer has blossomed into a band, with singer-guitarist Jalbert joined by drummer /multi-instrumentalist Renny Wilson. The follow-up to 2015's Cosmic Troubles was largely recorded during an intensive month session in September 2016 at Wilson's personal studio in Montreal. During the process, Jalbert rented a room in Wilson's house and the pair spent hours jamming and listening to bargain bin rock records in the basement. "The last album had a lot of flowery '60s flourishes," Jalbert explains. "This time, we wanted to simplify it and just do some straight-ahead songs. Focus on the song itself rather than all of the production." The arrangements are still overflowing with beautiful sonic details from the Twin Peaks synths that enshroud "Sterling Silver" to the funky clavinet that's nestled within the paisley-patterned pop of "& Waiting" - but the instrumentation is stripped down enough that it can be faithfully recreated by a live band. Jalbert and Wilson were inspired by the garage-punk snarl of Wipers, the deadpan drama of Leonard Cohen's Death of a Ladies' Man, and the classic songwriting chops of Scott Walker and Elvis Costello. Balancing melancholy lyrics with playful moods, lush melodies with straightforward arrangements, Forget what the bullies told you in middle school-there's nothing cooler than trying hard.
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