Spotlight!: Claire Coupland

claire couplandWe’re blessed to be living in the golden age of EPs. When they’re done right they have just as much sway over the listener as a full album, albeit condensed down into a potent little package. Quality always beats quantity, and there’s no shortage of quality to be found in the latest release from Toronto based artist Claire Coupland. Her new EP On The Other Side has, in just five tracks, surpassed most albums I’ve heard this year. Lead single ‘Bound For Love’ reminds me of ‘Unlike Any Other’ from Belwood favourite Foy Vance in its softer moments, but there’s a real momentum in the rhythm that pushes the song forwards and brings you along for the ride. ‘Love In Your Eyes’ offers some country vibes with its atmospheric steel guitar, Claire’s vocals steal the spotlight thanks to the sparse yet graceful arrangement of ‘Get Outta This Town’, while ‘This One’s For The Road’ boasts lush harmonies and a classic Americana feel. My personal highlight however would be the expressive bass tones and warm brass section of ‘Fleet Street’, reminding me in places musically of Dire Straits, and sounding like the perfect addition to any rainy day playlist. On The Other Side strikes me as one of the most memorable and consistent EPs of the year; a real delight, and one which I hope you’ll find a place in your heart for as I have.

Fans of Laura Marling, Joni Mitchell, Evening Darling and First Aid Kit should check out On The Other Side, out 27th July.