The enigmatic debut from Canadian songwriter Kass Richards snuck out at the tail end of last year on Good Cry Records and just as quietly sold out. Thankfully, though, it met the ears of Feeding Tube who’ve given it a reissue this year. The album is hung on Richards’ entrancing vocals, which work their way through the same prism that colors Helena Espvall and Jennifer Castle’s haunting styles. The latter she covers here, adding new shades and textures to the songwriter’s 2019 cut “Nature.” Its not the only cover here, as Kass has an intimate way of folding others’ work into her own. Among her own resonant pieces she recasts The Kinks’ “Strangers” and another by Aidan Coughlan, whom she’s prone to covering.
While the reshaping of other songwriters’ works is impressive, her own songs have their own specific gravity that’s hard to escape. In his description of the album Coley mentions that she’s neither pulled to the Canyon or indebted to the Anglo-folk, and that’s true. While there are bound to be streaks of the UK somewhere in the songs’ DNA, theres something on the same surreal level as Susan Christie and the trickle down into the US Northeast contingent with Samara Lubelski or the mountain gone Midwest work of Josephine Foster. Comparisons aside, its the resonance in Kass’ work that gives this album its place in the sun. The songs hang on the air with a genuine glow, Richards’ voice a linen draped dream that billows on the breeze. Its fortuitous that this one gets a second life, because far too many missed on the glory of The Language Shadow last year.
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