Sunbear Moonbath

Sunbear Moonbath
For an album recorded in the dead of last winter, there's warmth to this, the second effort from rootsy Toronto, ON trio Sunbear. Recording to two-inch tape was a factor, as was the fine red wine reportedly fuelling the sessions. Sunbear are built upon the eloquent country folk songs and haunting voice of Kate Boothman, fleshed out by the contributions of the A-list guests. That impressive list includes Ian Blurton, Mike Boguski (Blue Rodeo), Sean Dean (the Sadies), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck), Erik Arnesen (Great Lake Swimmers), Kathleen Edwards, Julie Fader and more. Moonbath was produced by Greg Keelor at his farm, and he adds guitar and harmony vocals, as well as co-writing a couple of songs. Opening track "Living Dead" is more vigorous than anything on Sun Streaming In, Sunbear's debut, and Blurton's fuzz guitar solo is a treat. Harmony vocals help add a slight psychedelic tinge to Boothman's melodic meditations on matters of the heart, and the results are sweetly beguiling. "New Moon" is instantly seductive, while other tracks insinuate themselves gradually. The net effect is a strongly appealing album that demonstrates that Boothman has definitely earned the respect of her peers. (Lost Cause)