Published Nov 26, 2013With a name like Old Cabin, you wouldn't expect a death metal record. Sure enough, there's a pervasive rustic feel to this, the full-length debut for a project headed by Jona Barr. The Whitehorse-based singer/songwriter has a country-tinged folk sound that, in its quieter moments, recalls the sedate explorations of Great Lake Swimmers. He stretches vocally on "Borrowed Secrets," a tune boosted by subtle R&B tinges, while the more uptempo and catchy "Good Days Bad Days" and "Lighthouse" would seem destined for CBC airplay.
Barr's songwriting skill insinuates itself with multiple spins, and he varies tempos and tones just enough to hold your attention. "Steady On The Wheel," for instance, teasingly threatens to explode into a full-blooded guitar assault, but reins itself in. Contributing tasteful production is Jordy Walker (Old Time Machine, the Burning Hell), who is also part of Barr's accompanying instrumentalists. Old Cabin released an EP, Growing Up Young, in 2012 and was featured on a split disc with Old Time Machine. That and the experience of a couple of cross-Canada tours have clearly helped turn Barr into a talent ready for primetime. (Independent)