In truth, Kathryn Calder has been playing second fiddle, to Neko Case for years. She officially joined The New Pornographers in 2008 after departing from her Immaculate Machine, and joined up as keyboard and back-up vocalist, stepping into the female song leads when Case couldn’t make it (she’s also Carl Newman’s niece). But 2010 saw the debut solo release of Are You My Mother?, a tender and soaring and downright splendid record that was equal parts frolic and kneel.
She’s now following that up with 2011’s Bright and Vivid, a loud and very clear signal to The New Pornographers that they might need to find a replacement for Calder when she’s out on her solo tours. Bright and Vivid is a grand showcase of just how pure and dynamic Calder’s voice is; sounding exactly like Neko Case at times, yet spinning on a dime and carving out niches in genres ranging from Folk (“Turn a Light On”) to Pop (“Walking in My Sleep”) to New Wave (“Right Book”).
But the catchiest little ditty that you’ll come across is the Electronic “Who Are You?” The song pairs Calder’s vocals in perfect unison with a distorted robot’s guitar craft and still has space to feature gorgeous multi-instrumental harmonies. It’s a really neat song, and you can download/listen to/watch below. But be sure to investigate its source, Bright and Vivid. Simply put, we recommend it.
Kathryn Calder – Who Are You? by killbeat music
(Bright and Vivid is available now from File Under Music Records)