Jenny Berkel Here on a Wire

Jenny BerkelHere on a Wire
It's hard to believe that Here on a Wire is Jenny Berkel's debut LP. Originally from Ontario, the Winnipeg, MB-based singer-songwriter has cut her teeth on a number of Canadian festival stages, opening for Amelia Curran on several occasions as well. Still, the mini-tour de force that is her first record is a wonderful surprise. Berkel comes off as quite an assured and accomplished songwriter with an almost instinctive understanding of how to create memorable and engaging songs. Berkel's languid vocal style is distinct here, beautifully contrasted by the hypnotic rhythm of strings and crashing cymbals. Her timbre maintains its rich texture even when it takes on a hazy quality, as when her voice appears to drift off on the last syllable of a word or at the end of a verse. And though her delivery may not appeal to everyone equally, her voice is undeniably warm, earthy and inviting. "You Don't Hesitate" and "Come a Long Way" are two haunting pieces that leave glowing embers behind in your memory long after they finish. If this is what a mini-tour de force looks like for Jenny Berkel, we can only imagine what time, sweat and talent will bring out of her in the future. (Independent)