Sunday 20 July 2014

Obligatory Record Of The Day! Jeen - Buena Vista

Single review by KevW

I think we can safely label Canadian artist Jeen O'Brien as being both prolific and adaptable. As well as her solo work, she's also the vocalist with the group Cookie Duster and has written numerous pieces to be used in major TV ad campaigns, as well as having her songs featured on national TV shows. One would assume (I have to confess that my knowledge of Canadian TV isn't great) that some of this music has been tailor-made, so discovering what style Jeen herself actually prefers and creates at free will should offer a better understanding of the lady herself. With her new album 'Tourist' being released earlier this month, we're given the opportunity to do just that.

Single 'Buena Vista' is as good a place to start as any, and the initial impression leads to thoughts of bands such as The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Belly and other early '90s alt-rock groups. However, the difference here is that the song takes that blueprint but doesn't simply fall into mimicry. It may be coming from a similar place, but doesn't sound dated at all; in fact you could also compare her favourably to more recent indie type bands such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Howling Bells or Metric, and this becomes more apparent if you delve deeper into her canon. The low rumble of 'Buena Vista' begins with a vocal that's almost laid-back, and harmonies that fit that style, but by the time the chorus arrives the intensity increases and a song with more raw power is unveiled. Perhaps Jeen is a musical tourist, visiting different places to craft different sounds, but if this is her natural preference then she should definitely continue to call it home.

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