Layah Jane Honey

Layah Jane Honey
One step closer to graduating from provincial troubadour to chanteuse, Toronto's folky singer-songwriter Layah Jane has spun another delightfully understated collection of songs on Honey. Her fan-funded fourth studio release finds Jane subtly tweaking her formula; toning down her socio-political venting and trading in her playful lyrics, via a reggae vibe à la Mraz, for a more sophisticated sound. Her mellowed-out soul drenched tunes are awash in a breathy almost plaintive tone. Jane transmits great emotional depth ― be it of loss, uncertainty, acceptance or loneliness ― in the build-up and release of her melodic wails and whispers but her lyrics fail to support that depth. In light of the record's strong points and the magic bestowed upon it by long-time producer and guitarist, Oliver Johnson, it's easy to overlook such weaknesses and just soak in the sound. While Honey is in no way a mood-lifter, its warmth leaves you yearning for more. (Grace Note)