Muscle twee

The singer, songwriter and ukulele player for the Corner Laughers has recorded a solo album. Well, sort of. Her husband and bandmate, Khoi Huynh, produces, and the rest of the band plays as well.

Karla Kane
King's Daughters Home for Uncurables

But this isn't a Corner Laughers album. Kane has stripped down the sound to a very basic chamber pop feel, verging on folk at times. The notes make plenty of references to English folk, and there is definitely a Fairport Convention feel to some of these songs. But this more contemplative unplugged sound is enough of a departure from the band that putting this out under Kane's name alone probably makes the most sense.

What hasn't been lost is the attention to detail. These songs may be somewhat more spare in arrangement and sound, but they are just as crafted and clever as ever. Kane does not seem to have changed her writing style so much as the presentation of her ideas. It's not a seismic shift, and I imagine plenty of these songs will make their way into the Corner Laughers repertoire. And I'm not sure fans would even take much notice.

A small gem of an album. Kane's work is as sterling (and slightly geeky) as ever, and her voice remains enticing. If this slight step sideways brings more attention to the Corner Laughers, so much the better. Truly lovely.

Jon Worley

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