Easy Days is a jangly and danceable album that could soundtrack your moodiest nights and sunniest morning.
Arriving six years after the release of Klarka Weinwurm’s last album, Huddle, Easy Days is a reflection of the growth, change, and inspiration that has made up Weinwurm’s last ten years as a touring and performing musician on Canada’s east coast. “Easy Days is something of an ode to our youth,” she says of the album, “our innocence and simplicity”.
The ten-track album delivers what Weinwurm’s fans have come to expect: doomy, garage rock lit with sweet folk vocals and introspective lyrics. But Easy Days also brings a freshness, channelling poppy, danceable drum beats and a sense of play that disarms the listener. It was recorded between June 2019 and December 2020 with Dave Trenaman at the Quarantine in Port Greville, Nova Scotia (an auspiciously named studio, given the timeframe, if you ask me). Weinwurm’s work at the studio was surely influenced by the “introspection-inducing” view of the Bay of Fundy that you get from the Quarantine, where Whoop-Szo, Partner, and Julie Doiron have also recorded recent albums. Easy Days is full of twists and turns, tempo shifts, and beautifully melodic and harmonic choices that highlight the reckoning that this album represents. The product of a decade of playing in bands around the east coast, marinating in the New Brunswick swamps, Easy Days is “an imprint of time, growth and change of vibration.”
Easy Days shares a sonic universe with Canadian indie stalwarts like the Garrys and the Courtneys. Slower, doomier tracks like “T V” and “Pulling Teeth” harken back to Weinwurm’s signature juxtaposition of crunchy, dark garage riffs and silvery vocals. “Flight,” a poppier number in arrangement and vocal styling, retains the driving and punchy guitar riffs that add signature texture and grit to whatever Weinwurm chooses to explore. The title track, appearing halfway through the album, is a beachy, jangly pop-rock song. Like many songs on the album, Easy Days is presented in multiple acts, and the listener can rely on a peppering of heavy instrumental interludes within even the most feel-good moments.
“Swimming in Smoke,” coming in at track seven, offers a perspective that hasn’t yet been explicitly articulated about the so-called “easy days” of Weinwurm’s youthful wanderings. “I’ve been way…I’ve been way across town / There’s so much to see, It’s only my fifth time around,” she intones. “I don’t have the faith / To live beyond this garden gate.” It’s a loping, reflective song, the guitar strums hanging onto a major 7 that keeps the listener on the line waiting for a resolution. “You’re always scared / and out of tune / And it’s just the afternoon”. Maybe, in this case, a resolution is beside the point.
Easy Days is a varied, exciting album that signals Weinwurm as an artist that isn’t afraid to push her limits, develop her ideas in honest and novel ways, and have damn good ideas in the first place. It is an album that I can’t wait to see live and blast in my car often.
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