She released her first record four years ago, but Alberta's Ann Vriend has yet to make a major mark on the Canadian music scene. Her last album, Modes Of Transport, got some raves, but the so-called piano pop laureate deserves more attention.
Her latest release, The Clandestine EP, won't do anything for her popularity - it's a limited-edition, five-song release - but it's a great precursor to what's sure to be a memorable third full-length album, whenever that comes out.
The EP, only available for sale on her website and through her MySpace page, finds the perfect balance between lush, radio-friendly pop and Alberta twang.
St. Paul, one of the better songs on the disc, features Vriend's smooth, rootsy vocals backed by CMT-approved instrumentation, while Hallowe'en's soft pop intro and passionate lyrics show off the songwriter's endless potential.
Ann Vriend plays the Rivoli Wednesday (August 29).