Norine Braun is an award-winning artist (Banff Centre Musician in Residence, Canada Council For the Arts Award, Los Angeles Music Awards, Artist For Literacy) with an eye to the past while the other focused firmly in the future – her music blends a timelessness that is resplendent with blues, folk, and soul.
Check out her amazing vocal and musical talents here on an old video of her singing 'Starman"
With her latest release on Through Train Windows, Braun’s blues roots is matched with some country-twang and folk. Inspired by her cross Canada Riding the Rails tour as Artist On Board with partner Alice Fraser last year, Braun traveled over 6000 kilometers from Vancouver to Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax. The ever changing landscape of the Rocky Mountains, endless prairies, forests and Atlantic oceans suffice as a seamless inspiration for her new record. Following the tour, Braun worked as a Musician in Residence at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, penning most of the songs off the album in her studio facing Sleeping Buffalo Mountain.
The album opens up with “Sleeping Buffalo” that starts off with some up-keyed strumming on the guitar. The great acoustic sound follows through that is simply rendered. Braun’s vocals carries through with an enigmatic cadence, as well as projecting an intimate feel throughout the track. This song has a great country-blues, folk, and soul sound with traces of the harmonica wafting in and out of the track.
Braun’s vocals, on “I’m Going Home” is simply dynamic in this catchy and upbeat song. On this track, an uncanny country-bent blues pave the way on this folksy soul rendition. There is definitely an energized feel to this song with sounds of the guitars, bass, drums, and percussions circulating within this track. The energetic cadence of the harmonica makes an enthused performance on this song.
“Jerkwater Town” has a rousing classic feel to the track. It also has traces of the nit and grit blues and has a revving quality to the song. The coalescing of instruments from guitar, bass, drums, percussions, and harmonica go on to create a dynamic sound.
“Exhale” is a contemplative track that follows through with a great introspective and thought-provoking cadence. With a highly emotional and atmospheric sound, the soaring arrays of cadence reverberate with electric guitar riffs.
“Climbing Table Mountain” has a gritty bluesy appeal to it. The great country-bent blues vibes has some great jaunty rhythms to it. The sax also adds a sizzling layer to the track. The song follows through with a happening bold sound.
“Heading Up North” is a simple ballad with vocals that are accompanied by deft strumming from the acoustic guitar with reverberating electric guitars alternating in and out of the track. This is a happening acoustic song with a great folk vibe. The track in its entirety reverberates with a great dynamic acoustic cadence.
“I’m Moving On” has a great indie folk-rock sound. Braun’s vocals comes across as vulnerable as the bluesy cadence of harmonica and reverberating guitars rock this song. There is a hopeful sound to the track even though the song is about a breakup. With great melodious layers, this track has a catchy vibe with a great flow to it.
“Rock The Rolling” has some stimulating sounds coming from the sax that moves in and out of this song. This is an upbeat track with a catchy vibe. Braun does a spoken word-like performance mid-way into this song as the cadence of the keys support her. The track is also accompanied by an energized electronic beat as traces of the keys end this song.
On this unique rendition of “O Canada,” adds a nice pop touch to the national anthem. The keys also add a fun-loving vibe to the rock track. This is a unique take filled with country-blues and folk layers.
“Rue St. Jean” has a jazzy flair to the country-blues song. With uplifting and appealing vibes, the sunny sounds add an invigorating touch. The catchy and upbeat folk cadence gives off an energized performance.
“Crosses & Sweetgrass” is filled with a melancholic piano melody towards the beginning. With these somber undertones, the piano simply supports Norine Braun’s vocals. This pretty dynamic acoustic track is filled with emotion and really goes on to showcase Braun’s vocal range, here.
“Heaven Only Knows” is a quiet song that starts off with some noodling on the electric guitar. After a short interlude, the song erupts with Braun’s electrically charged vocals. A happening rock track, the song really resonates with its quiet intonation and magical rock sound with soaring electric guitar solos and much more. A startling piano melody also paves this track.
“Through Train Windows” is an energized song. With its up-keyed appeal, the bustling bluesy sounds follow through. A smoky country-bent and folk track, the delightful cadence is packed with soul and has a great beat. Traces of the sax makes this an electric country twang blues song. The track contains a spoken word performance by Braun, which really sets the mood to this soulful song. The music plays softly in the background as Braun does the reading.
The great electric sounds on Through Train Windows merges the great outdoors with the terrain from within. It explores the breath-taking landscapes that Norine Braun has travelled through and takes this experience and produces a bold and arresting cadence.
This is stunning work that has startling layers. This is something that will reverberate long after the last song is over.
Captivating and shining music, Norine Braun has produced a strong album packed with soul.
This is roots music that is accessible for wider audiences. Through Train Windows will also appeal to niche listeners, who are drawn to country, blues, and folk packed with a whole lot of soul.
With its eclectic approach, Through Train Windows has something there for everyone!
The album will be due out for release on Dec. 7th.