“Middle Voice” is an excellent presentation and collection. The pallet is emboldened with wisps of magical instrumentation as you enjoy the sounds of piano, bass, electric guitars and drums all gently held together with touches of brass.
These delicate nuances lend such an amazing depth and texture to Kate’s voice. As she so eloquently sings harmonies and back up with herself it adds to the message within the lyrics and the songs.
Fenner has used deep heartfelt lyrics to describe a roller coaster of emotions and serious life events that for some may have been unyielding or unmanageable. The elegance and grace she has displayed with this production is exceptional and worthy of great note.
“I recorded the bed tracks for this album after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and slated for surgery to remove it. This diagnoses itself came after a fallow period of illness and getting sober (!). I had started to write again, and wanted to capture my voice on tape in the event that something went awry in the surgery (very unlikely, but a good excuse to record). Tony Scherr, my old friend, stepped up immediately; we recorded all the beds in less than three weeks in short 3-hr sessions while my son was in school. We later added overdubs and a couple newer songs, once my voice had healed”~ Kate Fenner ~
Kate is a native of Canada and currently makes her home in the beautiful city of New York, here in the US. In a review published in the New York Times she was described as having a Joni Mitchell type sound. Fenner was a member of the Canadian alternative rock band called Bourbon Tabernacle Choir during the mid 80’s and 90’s and after the group dissolved she continued performing as a duo with Chris Brown, also a former member of the group.
In 2000 Kate toured with the group The Tragically Hip on the “Music @ Work” tour. She released “Horses and Burning Cars” a solo album in 2003 and followed that with a second album called “Magnet” which was produced by Chris Brown.
This album “Middle Voice” touches on several topics that most all of us at one time or other have faced in some way. The ease and elegant way she brings you in to the song, the lyrics, and the entire story of each song makes you feel as if you are actually part of the song as well.
The first track brings things in with a slow feel but as you begin to listen to Fenner’s vocals your drawn in to the not only the instrumentation of the song but the soft Americana feel with her vocals being in perfect pitch and bright as they should be without being too aggressive or smothering the music.
If we had not been told of the lead vocals being recorded before Kate had her surgery for the thyroid cancer and the dubbing/harmony tracks recorded after, we would not have guessed. Her voice is pristine and, to me soothing and warm.
Even while being at odds with so many different issues in her life you would not have guessed it by the texture and depth of the songs on this album. Each one is surprisingly upbeat and gives a positive message in the face of adversity.
This album is so much more than just a collection of songs, it’s a collection of emotions, mental, spiritual and physical healing, growth and change. Kate was a middle child, also embracing middle age, and in the middle of a huge shift in her essence of life when faced with the cancer. I believe what she has given us is a taste of courage and beauty that we should all recognize and salute.
Please note that all media is courtesy of Independent Music Promotions.
For more information on this beautiful collection and on Kate Fenner please visit the sites below.
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