DisCourse #002

Heather Loewen Knows More Than She Thinks

The oversized question mark on the cover of Heather Loewen’s new EP is not just there to take up space or lower the printing costs; truth in advertising is what “I Wish I Knew” is all about.

There is no question as to the quality of Loewen’s work, as the questions are all asked internally. With this CD the five “W”s are given a good shake.

Loewen’s music, essentially pop, is as diverse as the lyrics contained within.

Mixing up lyrical styles, Loewen gives us a variety of listening perspectives.

In her world everyday events beg a second thought as you look out from ordinary life - what am I doing in this city, are we meant to be lovers or lifelong friends, did Scotty ever turn away from the TV?

The romance of memory is very important in many of her songs. Davie St. Roommates has us look at an apartment full of colourful characters all too familiar to those of us who have lived by meagre means in the big city.

Georgina’s Cabin is a thoughtful balance. A residence where life goes on within and without, peace and solitude are at its foundation.

Time and place as well as set and setting are balanced to create a very real diary quality in her writing.

She writes about love and friendship very honestly in the songs Nothing Lasts Forever and Taste of Heaven. These songs explore the ebb and flow of love, bookends with equal weight pressing against them.

There is an unknowing characteristic to her narrative where wanting, hoping and waiting live.

I could digress into the undertones of isolation that run through some of her lyrics but let’s get real; this is after all a pop album review and not a psychological profile. Lets move on shall we.

This self-produced CD is an example of what an artist can do with the tools at hand. Recorded on a home computer this digital delight is pure pop el dente.

Loewen’s music, on this album has a constant groove to it, kind of retro, but she makes it her own.

For a home produced CD it has a real lively feeling to it. To my ear the separation of the instruments, on a recording is essential. Without this small detail recordings sound muddy and amateurish. The mix on this offering is crisp and stereophonically pleasant through headphones, particularly brilliant through the big speakers.

I found plenty of sonic sparkles, splashes and hooks to tickle my ear bone. Loewen’s vocal performance is consistently strong and her ability to sing a melody is, well, music to my ears.

This EP length CD is a strong first showing for Loewen. I’ve been looking forward to a release by this local artist for some time now and found it has only wet my appetite for a full length CD promised later this year.

And still I wish I knew if Scotty ever turned away from the TV?

You can check out Heather Loewen’s website at thedailyspecial.ca


Steve at Rose Music generously provided this CD for review