Toronto-based singer-songwriter Savard has released three folk-rooted albums with former partner John Zytaruk, but is now stretching out musically with the highly capable assistance of her seasoned band, the Savants. They include two former Jane Siberry associates — producer/bassist John Switzer and backing vocalist Rebecca Campbell — plus drummer Martin Worthy, guitarist Tim Posgate, and keyboardist Megan Worthy.
Together they deliver a full and well-produced sound that fuses folk, jazz and pop strains in a hybrid that sounds like something you could have heard on '70s AM radio. There's even an era-appropriate I Ching reference in the breezy album opener, "In Over My Head."
Savard's songs are thoughtful, and both personal and philosophical. She has a clear and expressive voice, one equally at home on the gently tender "Counting On You Heart" and the more upbeat "It Shines," a tune with a swampy feel enhanced by slide guitar. "Fire" is a piano-led ballad suggestive of mid-'70s Joni, while there's a jazzy lilt to the vocals and instrumentation on mellow album closer "Top of the Trees." There's the occasional flaw, like the mildly irritating repetition of the title in "Check," but this is a very enjoyable listen that marks Savard as an artist to watch. (Independent)