Christine Bougie Hearts and Galaxies

8
Although this is technically Christine Bougie's third solo album, it's the first time she's truly gone it alone. Hearts and Galaxies is pure Bougie, and it's her best work to date. The Toronto, ON musician (who's lent her considerable guitar talents to acts like Amy Millan, Jenny Whiteley, Julie Fader and Sylvia Tyson) is responsible for every sound on this instrumental collection. Filled with her signature lap steel style, the album has emotional weight and variety. This is a dreamier-sounding release than Bougie's previous records, the introspective tone likely due to the lack of accompanying musicians. Heavy with atmosphere, the album moves from the spaciness of "28 Known Galaxies" to the playful "Rat Dreams" and on into some decidedly psychedelic territory. Electronic textures give this too-brief album an experimental edge, as well as the narrative and expressive qualities of a film score. (Independent)