JENNIFER CASTLE plays the Horseshoe on May 19. See listing. Rating: NNNNN
Listening to Jennifer Castle's new record is like sitting across from her at a small table and immediately engaging with her in an intense conversation.
The Toronto musician has an uncanny ability to write folk-oriented songs that are at once direct and confessional. On the surface they're ethereal and pretty, but an undeniable darkness runs beneath. Lyrically, she shifts from tranquil straightforwardness to a profound sort of melancholy in the course of a few words.
Just 30 minutes long, Castlemusic demands repeated listens. It's less sparse than 2008's You Can't Take Anyone but forgoes none of that album's stark intimacy. Castle deserves a place alongside Canada's great, unique singer/songwriters - the Jonis and the Neils.
Top track: Remembering