Annabelle Chvostek - Rise
Annabelle Chvostek has an envious list of previous bands, collaborations and shows, ranging from opera as a child to ‘new media performance’, and then as a key part of the Canadian folk band Wailin’ Jennys. She’s now settled back into her career as a solo act. Coming off the back of an acclaimed album and previous nominations for Juno Awards (the Canadian version of the Grammys) she's chosen to direct her considerable musical talents towards topical themes.
Already nominated for a 2013 Juno, Rise is an eclectic album, mirroring Chvostek’s career to date. She moves seamlessly from folk to 40s dancehall to smokey-blues back to folk, sometimes all in the same song. The fiddle, banjo and bass drive the sound throughout the album, ably complementing her strong vocals. One of the best songs is opening track 'End Of The Road', which wins you over quickly with its uplifting melody and recurring rhythms. 'G20 Song' is a protest song for our times by way of traditional Russian folk, railing against the storms of recent economic upheaval. Whilst Rise has echoes of Springsteen in its sound and lyrics about local communities taking on evil corporations, tracks like 'All Have Some' and the wonderful 'Fox Tail' have a real energy about them and come along at just the right point to lift the mood. The album builds towards a high with 'Ona' ("In Toronto I get more hugs / In Montreal I get more kisses") which is just an impressively happy tune. A solid album then with some standout tracks. Definitely for you if you like your artists to have something to say for themselves whilst remembering that the music matters.