Le Ren: Leftovers (Secretly Canadian/bandcamp)

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Le Ren: Leftovers (Secretly Canadian/bandcamp)

Le Ren is Canadian singer-songwriter Lauren Spear whose elegant but assured vocals sit easily within soft folk-country with an ethereal lightness, even as she addresses loss and damaged love on this debut which cleverly undersells itself with the title.

Some have mentioned the late Karen Dalton with regard to her style but she has little of Dalton's resonant power although she possesses a not dissimilar emotional nakedness.

Her spare lyrics and the directness of her delivery are redolent of early, acoustic Neil Young and the McGarrigles, but there's a strong Anglo-folk element in her ballads (Your Cup) too.

Songs like the country-folk of Who's Gonna Hold Me Next? (with quiet pedal steel), Willow or the lovely May Hard Times Pass Us By could have come from the 19thcentury.

With mostly just acoustic guitar (a little multi-tracking of her vocals, very discreet support from others who never shift the focus from her), these songs have a constrained beauty and clarity that is rare.

And she brings the intimacy of a warm but empty folk club into your listening space.

A quite beautiful and understated 33 minutes.

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You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here



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