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Vancouver singer-songwriter Norine Braun is back with a new album Through Train Windows, a follow up to 2017’s wonderful Kind of Blues. Aptly titled, Through Train Windows was inspired by a recent tour in which Braun traveled across Canada via railway, and there’s a deeply personal identity to the majority of the songs as the artist soaked in the towns, landscapes, and people she encountered on her travels. Braun’s lyrical style is fantastically poetic, calling to mind the likes of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, but stylistically she never shies away of exhibiting a harder blues rock edge when necessary.
Braun excels, unsurprisingly, at the pastoral, and songs rich in descriptions in nature like “Heading Up North” and “Climbing Table Mountain” are obvious highlights on the record. But she describes metropolitan environments as well, and the disco-tinged “Rue St. Jean” is a clear contender for the most fun song here. The album leans toward the edgier and more electric, but there are plenty of tender, acoustic moments like the expressive opener “Sleeping Buffalo.” The tour must have been an amazing experience for Braun, because Through Train Windows is one of her purest and most concise statements as an artist yet.
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