Their 2009 eponymous debut won the Canadian folk-country trio Good Lovelies – Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore, a Juno for best Roots & Traditional album, since which time they’ve dropped a Juno nominated follow-up, a Christmas album and a live set. Now with Burn The Plan, their fourth studio outing and their first since 2011, they’ve broadened their horizons to take in a touch of electronics.
However, fans need not fear that they’ve gone all techno or embraced their inner Aphex Twins; the extent of their electro expansion goes no further than some skittering beats providing the foundation to mid-tempo ballad Open Windows, some persistent synth hisses on airy album closer Watching TV and, the most dominant, an electro beat percolating through tropical-tinged airy close harmony opening track In The Morning which also features Ough on omnichord.
Those, and some electronic keyboard and drum machine here and there, aside, it’s pretty much business as usual with tasteful, easy on the ear gentle country-tinted numbers like the Fleetwood Mac-like soft rock Waiting For You (one of two tracks on which Luke Doucet provides electric guitar), the shuffling poppy Broken Hearted (with a do-da-do riff that sounds like it might launch into either It’s Not Unusual or Concrete and Clay) and the bon tempi lounge shaded rhythms of Don’t Hold Back, the latter pair having a definite 50s feel.
Making her fifth appearance for the trio, Christine Bougie again works her lap steel magic, most notably on Slow Road, the late-night slow swaying The Doe and, with just a subtle hint, the lovely three part harmony piano-backed ballad Last Night while Kevin Turcotte provides trumpet on the plinking piano playful Into The Dark which, with its retro shades, I could almost imagine being sung by the Andrews Sisters.
While this is a well polished (but never antiseptically slick) album that looks to expand their marketplace, they’ve not totally torched the blueprints and exploration is well balanced with familiar trademark numbers like the mandolin accompanied old school country pop Old Fashioned Love, the stripped back heartbreak ballad Four O’Clock and, featuring just their voices and acoustic guitar, the haunting stand out When The City Settles. Burning the plan could have seen everything go up in smoke, but instead this looks like a definite blaze of glory.
Review by: Mike Davies
Waiting For You
The Making of ‘Burn the Plan’
Burn the Plan is Out Now via Code 7 – Six Shooter Records
Order via Amazon
UK Tour Dates
24 Jun – Barnard Castle, The Witham
25 Jun – Sheffield, Wagon Wheel at The Greystones
26 Jun – Kirton-in-Lindsay, Town Hall Live
27 Jun – Southwold, Southwold Arts Festival
28 Jun – Lewes (East Sussex), Union at The Con Club
30 Jun – London, Islington, Green Note at The Old Queen’s Head
Photo Credit: Matt Barnes