Kate Maki The Sun Will Find Us

Kate Maki The Sun Will Find Us
Kate Maki’s sophomore album finds the Sudbury artist adding a new band, new sounds and pondering blind optimism. Like her debut, Confusion Unlimited, The Sun was recorded by Ottawa’s Dave Draves, but this time around Royal City’s Nathan Lawr sits on the drum throne and Dale Murray contributes many of the record’s defining moments on pedal steel and electric guitar. The biggest surprise here is that Maki dips a toe into ’60s soul with "Someone Better” and R&B ballad "Mid March Blues.” Both songs benefit from a Stax-era horn section, compelling arrangements and great Hammond/rhythm guitar work. The sound works so well, actually, that it wouldn’t be surprising if Maki’s third album dives headlong into some sort of rock-country-soul highbred. But for an album with so many high points — the quirky sci-fi gypsy feel of "Defend the End,” the seductive bedroom vocal of "First Impression,” and the old time soon-to-be-campfire standard "Old Guitar” — The Sun is aching for a few more upbeat tracks. "One by One,” for instance, the song the album’s hopeful title is from, never quite gets off the ground. The ballsy guitar pulls it towards a Neil Young rocker but the polite drums keep trying to make it a prom night waltz; gone is that nonchalant looseness in Maki’s voice, replaced by confidence and precision, yes, but maybe a little too controlled for where the album wants to go. (Independent)