Jane Blanchard Flourish Festival, Fredericton NB, April 27

Jane Blanchard Flourish Festival, Fredericton NB, April 27
Photo: Kyle Forbes
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Saturday's (April 27) Flourish festivities began at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, just blocks from Fredericton's downtown core. Originally a six-room schoolhouse built in 1884, the centre now houses a variety of arts and cultural organizations, while the school gymnasium has been fully restored as an auditorium. Jane Blanchard — a duo featuring festival founders Jane Blanchard and drummer Stefan Westner — filled the space with sounds from their excellent 2018 release, Enemy.
 
"I was a soldier / I lost in a war against you," Blanchard sang on the eerie title track, as Westner built friction by forcing a drumstick across his crash cymbal. The pair then dove into uptempo song "22," replete with punchy drums, warm strumming and a phonetic chorus line. Westner's back and forth between the kick drum and mallet rolls on the toms nicely contrasted Blanchard's lovely fingerpick progression on "Hiding Out." After a dead-on cover of Angel Olsen's "Unfucktheworld," the duo closed their set with nicely elemental song "Swimmer."