Kathryn Calder

“Slip Away” – Kathryn Calder

Beginning as a pensive bit of Jane Siberry-like abstractness, fueled by little more than an egg shaker and a spare piano line, “Slip Away” unfolds deliberately, but never loses my attention. Despite the minimal instrumentation, the song opens with a strong melody and a prolonged sense of anticipation. It’s two full minutes before the music stretches out a bit and yet I’m with it all the way. I’ve heard plenty of 20-second introductions that lose my interest way more easily.

And then at 2:15, the song really kicks in, and the kicking-in part is at once lyrically incidental–there are no lyrics in it at all, in fact–and musically central, radiating out both forward and backward in time, illuminating both what we’ve already heard and what we are about to hear. What I think we have here is a lyric-free chorus, sung without words, which I’m not sure I’ve heard too often. But what a wonderful, dynamic thing it is, with a melody taking almost yodelly leaps that would surely have defeated any effort to be burdened with language.

Calder is a singer and keyboard player from Vancouver who is best known at this point for being the least known person in the New Pornographers. She also co-fronts the band Immaculate Machine, which has been featured here in April ’09 and May ’07. “Slip Away” is the lead track from her first solo release, Are You My Mother?, coming in August via File Under: Music. MP3 via Spinner.com.