Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bailey Sutton: "Pass It On" (album review)

Edmonton's Oak Apple Records is slowly becoming one of my go-to labels for sleeper albums.  They seem to have a knack for finding under-the-radar acts that put together compelling records.

The latest to strike a chord with me is Bailey Sutton and her new album Pass It On.

You don't have to reach too far back to figure out where Sutton's throwback sound comes from.  She distinctly hearkens back to the slightly angsty, slightly off-kilter female singers of the 1990's (Sutton herself was born in 1990, making me feel really old).  Elements of artists such as Tracy Bonham, Liz Phair, and Shawn Colvin can all be found in Sutton's music.


In her songwriting, as self-deprecating as is it is acid-tongued, Sutton compares the most to Juliana Hatfield.  There's a quirkiness and cuteness that is absolutely endearing in songs like "Yellow Underwear", "First Taste", and "Rubiks Cube".  However, she never let's the listener get too close, always projecting just enough standoffishness to keep you at arms length...and intrigued.

The hooks are honed to razor points with "Space For Living", one of the catchiest pop rock songs of the year thus far.  Sutton finishes off the record by flashing her rootsy side.  Back-to-back we get the uke-tastic "Aristree", and the twangy stomper "Forecasting".

I'll boldly go out on a limb and predict a slow building buzz for Pass It On.  Hopefully that culminates with at least a little bit of chatter and consideration for a Polaris long list placement.

Best tracks: "Space For Living", "Yellow Underwear"

Track listing for Pass It On:
  • First Taste
  • Still Picture
  • Rubiks Cube
  • Space For Living
  • Mango
  • Getting It Straight
  • It's All A State
  • Sympathy
  • Yellow Underwear
  • It's Your Turn
  • Aristree
  • Forecasting
8.0/10

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