This follow up to T. Nile’s (the T is for Tamara ) ’06 debut At My Table showcases this young BC, Canadian’s maturity as a songwriter and her ability to work outside genre but still come away with something uniquely her own. It also continues my well documented infatuation with Canadian roots music.
T. Nile’s handles her blend of country, folk, world and electronica music adroitly on this 7 song EP and it’s not an easy task for anyone little alone someone of her years.
The opening title song is a lone-prairie shuffle gathering of familial recollections and French lullabies all with Burke Carrol’s pedal steel yawning underneath. Genres change stylistically with Reverie, a soulful dub number reminiscent of New York’s Si-Se, but thanks to T. Nile’s tastefully plucked banjo and warm vocals it’s a smooth transition.
Canadian geese honk the opening of Lake Irene an expansive instrumental that you could imagine being recorded on the bank of said lake and the other instrumental Boats Against a Dock sounds more like a mountain stomp than anything coastal. Pass the ‘shine cousin.
Rock Whatcha Got is a a smooth slice of roots-funk confection that could be a dream collaboration of the Be Good Tanyas and Luscious Jackson.
Sunrises uses spare electronica textures to frame T. Nile’s soulful croon, and at it’s best it reminds me of French composer DJ and producer Solal’s Nashville-based Moonshine Sessions. But where Solal uses beats sparingly in lieu of traditional instruments, here you are very aware of the tech and unfortunately results in a garden variety trip hop cut a la Delerium or latter day Everything But The Girl.
Leather Shoes continues the icy tech theme from Sunrises but is saved from being completely without a pulse by T. Nile warm vocals and the beautiful string arrangements of Jessie Zubot.
I hope T. Nile sticks with more traditional instruments ands uses the tech sparingly in her next daring adventure, but you can’t accuse her of being boring.