Anne O'Connell Silly Stories

Despite the title, Montreal native Anne O’Connell seems to take herself very seriously with this release, musically at least. Silly Stories is a crisp and honest collection of what could best be described as melancholy folk songs. The tracks that make up this album typically rely on simple guitars and percussion to guide them through, they don’t disguise the vocals, but serve as a guiding undercurrent for them. In folk music, even modern day folk music, words are all-important. O’Connell’s intensely poetic lyrics tell tales of helplessness, survival and beneath it, an unspoken lonely disconnection — certainly not "silly” subject matter. The best cuts are the ones that push the boundaries of typical folk to present something unexpected, "Pretty To See” and "Wild Walls” draw their power from the overlain vocal effects, while "Happy Birthday” and "Alaska” draw it from their ethnic elements. O’Connell’s uniquely warm, beautiful and sometimes wispy voice carries this album, which as a whole is terribly pretty and melodic even if it peaks out at being just another relaxing folk infusion for a lazy summer day. (Migratoire)