Karma Controllers play Friday (February 1) at the Smiling Buddha Bar. Rating: NNN
An enthusiastic Canadian male (sounding like his voice was dipped in the ol’ Liverpool) experimenting with a self-assured Canadian female over multi-genre-splicing missives on lost love and life ambition? In these random days and times, that’s likely right up your alley, or a strange-sounding forbidden zone.
Out of 11 songs, most everyone will appreciate one thing or another here. They may have pop potential, but Karma Controllers seem to prefer combining glockenspiel, mandolin, accordion, strings, flute and a brave range of guitars with the warm, tortured-soul vocals of Helen Kuan to forge personal journeys. Foxfire Forest members and others contribute muted strains of jazz and soul that are expertly intertwined with other young-adult contemporary sounds, and the results are impressive.