Catherine MacLellan is one of the most charming and beautiful Canadian exports in many years and after many years working on the folk scene, the end of this year sees the release of her seventh album Coyote.
Coyote is a tender and sentimental album that is fiercely intimate as MacLellan wears her heart on her sleeve as she breathes life into a series of tales that take you on a journey through her life. She sings of heartbreak and loss but she also sings fervently of hope and all that is still to come. While Coyote cannot be considered an uplifting album, there is a gentle hopefulness that it exudes throughout that leaves you feeling the expressive and tender marks she leaves in your mind but also something that is life affirming, something that reminds you that there can be beauty that is found in the breakings. A firm reminder that there can be no shadows without light, MacLellan has brought together a heart-rending and beautiful collection of songs that bares her soul to the world and doesn’t shy away.
Poignant and elegant, the songs that MacLellan has created are moving and evocative but when her work becomes most clear is when she sings. Her soft Canadian lilt seems to flutter at the back of her throat while clear, crystalline tones swiftly flow past in a sweet and heartfelt vocalisation that feels similar to the likes of The Weepies at times. Her voice is bold and yet so charmingly understated that it feels as naturally beautiful as a dew-frosted morning. Coyote is also the culmination of a busy and arguably tumultuous time in MacLellans life and as far as having the ability and dedication to create something like this that can offer some form of catharsis goes, she has made an unparalleled album of beauty and grace. There is a charming simplicity within her work, despite the fact that there is little simple about it, but the mark of a good performer is to make something look easy and simple even when it isn’t and without a doubt, in Coyote MacLellan has accomplished this.
Soft, poignant and melancholy at times, Coyote is unarguably a tender and sentimental album but it is produced with such dedication and passion that it still gives you that reminder that hope exists in the world and with the world the way it is right now, perhaps this is an album that everyone needs to hear.
Review by Joe Knipe