words by tom johnson
While the wider musical ‘industry’ shuts down through most of December, today alone sees more than a handful of magical releases – from Special Explosion’s incredible new full-length, to Alexei Shishkin’s tender third LP – and weary’s new mini album ‘Feeling Things’, released on Wednesday, is another beautiful releases to add the ever-growing list of significant seasonal gifts.
As her Bandcamp page states, “weary is Kate Lahey, a new voice in an old city.” That old city is St. John’s, situated on the far tip of Newfoundland island, just off Canada’s Atlantic coast, it’s North America’s most easterly city and, according to Wikipedia, is the foggiest, windiest, and cloudiest Canadian city. Such characteristics have always embedded themselves in to tender, considered songwriting and there’s certainly a sense of weathered, contemplative wandering and wondering that snakes its way through this utterly charming collection of songs.
Lead track ‘Labour Day’ is immediate and indicative; a glowing pop song with a jaded heart, all lovely instrumental sweeps, a’la Big Thief et al, and Lahey’s gorgeously temperate voice. That voice, indeed, is the key character throughout Feeling Things, ably backed across the album, it’s a compelling focal-point, its honeyed but plaintive intonations pencilling a world that grows and grows with each passing second until we, the listener, feel as much a part of these rich, detailed songs as they protagonists themselves.
Closer’s wilting balladry is beautifully evocative, Too Bad, So Sad is a deft, much punchier side-step, but the whole thing hangs together wonderfully well when taken as one whole. A rare, alluring gem that deserves to rise above the enveloping fogginess of the season, ‘Feeling Things will make you do just that, in far more superlative ways – and you can stream it below/buy it now via Bandcamp.