Carolyn Mark The Queen of Vancouver Island

Carolyn MarkThe Queen of Vancouver Island
Former Party Girland erstwhile Terrible Hostess, Carolyn Mark crowns herself The Queen of Vancouver Island her eighth album. Self-administered labels aside, the Victoria, BC songwriter's foremost characteristic is the charming sense of humour that springs back to the forefront on what is possibly her best solo album to date. After her slick, Juno-nominated 2009 collaboration with Toronto's N.Q. Arbuckle and 2007's low-key solo effort, Nothing is Free, Mark has returned to the boozy, rollicking sound of her earlier years. This time, the rambunctious jangle is seasoned with experience ― the songs boast rich arrangements that steer clear of some of the more obvious country music tropes. But amidst all of the musical sophistication, Mark's voluptuous vocals and whip-smart lyrics still drip with the aforementioned self-deprecating humour. And then, as if to remind us she's still the same old loveable goofball she's always been, she slips a gargle solo into wonderfully raucous closer "You're Not A Whore (If No One's Paying)." (Mint)