Leah Abramson's voice sails in on a gentle wind. It's melancholy but bright, sad but sweet, and so distinct that every new release feels cozily familiar. The Vancouver singer/songwriter isn't afraid to go full-on choral, layering harmonies and counterpoint to blissful levels while the music behind her stays sparse. The astonishingly inventive Take A Camera on her first album exemplifies this.
On her second record - partly conceived during an indie band residency at the Banff Centre - a cappella Liftoff Canon and moody Marguerite come closest to that level of vocal playfulness. (Meanwhile, the closer, Red River Valley, has a 20-plus-person choir.) Voices, often Abramson's own, stack atop one another, though singing assistance comes via various band members and friends, including Be Good Tanyas' Samantha Parton.
Also on offer: top-notch folk-pop songwriting, lonesome narratives (like the perfectly gutting Drowning Man) and a gently swinging mood enhanced by distant mellotron, viola, violin and horns.
Top track: Drowning Man