Published Aug 21, 2018Many Canadian travellers have been there: you're somewhere unfamiliar but find, as though fate brought you together, another Canadian with whom to share stories of homesickness or excitement about the new locale. Colleen Brown (of Edmonton, via Kingston) experienced a creative encounter with members of Scenic Route to Alaska (of Edmonton) in London, UK while on tour. Artistry flourished in the interaction and this eponymous album, under Brown's Major Love moniker, was conceived.
You can hear the warm frenzy of creation in the songs. Major Love wield energy with an electric bite: melodies twist catchy and Brown's pop-happy voice swoops into psychedelic undertones. "I was so much older then / I am younger now," is an evocative line that recalls Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" on "Older Younger." "So Good" gleams with "I can't remember a time I felt so good."
The energy falls a little as the album progresses; it's difficult to maintain such a high level of optimism. "I Can't Wrap My Heart Around It" plays in a bluesy range with shifts in the dynamics, and the slower "I Love All of You" has the repeating refrain "I love you / I love all of you" with floating vocals and a composed mood. The crux of the shift seems to lay with the sweet and moody "Motherland" — an ode to Alberta that features the pedal steel talents of Aaron Goldstein. With a bass thrum size to it, the song reconnects to the idea of Colleen Brown and Scenic Route to Alaska's fortunate meeting.
Major Love have managed to propel the joy of finding — and connecting with — other Canadians abroad, and has turned it into a soundtrack for revelry. (Latent)