Home Feature Album review: Cherie Camp – Love and Blood

Album review: Cherie Camp – Love and Blood

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Gordy the moose reviews some of his favourite new submissions to the Roots Music Canada virtual mailbox.

What a fascinating discovery we have here in the Roots Music Canada mailbox.

Cherie Camp’s name may not be familiar to all but she’s had a significant and varied career, working alongside her composer-husband John Welsman on music for film and TV and winning a Genie for the song “Oh Love” from Nurse.Fighter.Boy.

She is also notable for having sung backup on Jane Siberry’s seminal albums The Walking and Bound By the Beauty and for being a member of The Three Marias with Shirley Eikhard and Gwen Swick.

Cherie, who is the daughter of the late journalist and political strategist Dalton Camp, put out one solo album in the 1980s and more or less retired from music at the end of the 90s, so what a lovely surprise to find a sophomore record in our mailbox after all these years. And what a lovely album!

For starters Cherie is a force of nature in the songwriting department, and the Siberry influence is everywhere on this album – from the unexpected melodic twists and turns to the impressionistic lyrics, which transport listeners to the contemplative emotional landscapes of midlife and beyond.

“Angels are moving furniture tonight, crocodile tears are shed, for the ones who don’t like changes, they like constancy instead,” she sings on the opening single, “Fits and Starts.”

And then there’s the revelatory interpretation of Anna McGarrigle’s “Heart Like A While,” a rendition that takes minor liberties with the original melody and phrasing to reveal the song’s emotional complexity like never before, updating it for the 2020s in the process.

Production-wise, the album is rooted in the contemporary folk-pop sounds of many current female vocalists, such as Jane Mathew and Genevieve Racette, while containing more than enough nods to Jane Siberry’s arty folk pop and Julee Cruise’s dream pop to provoke nostalgia in those of us who came of age on that music.

It’s a captivating listen from beginning to end.

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