JF Robitaille The Blood in My Body

The sweet folk pop ditties on J.F. Robitaille's debut EP are tantalisingly brief and utterly charming. Produced by Howard Bilerman (former drummer for the Arcade Fire) and Brian Paulson (Beck, Wilco), Robitaille's tiny disc never gets mired in twee. He chases each gentle, finger-picked tune with a bit of a rocker, striking the perfect balance between sweet and tart. The Montreal musician is lyrically sincere without succumbing to the kind of gloomy self-importance that is often the downfall of cute, indie singer-songwriter boys. The only dud is the final track, a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat." that — while pretty — lacks the aching pathos that gave the original such power. Robitaille's cover version takes up valuable disc space that would have been better spent on another of his own compositions, which are plenty solid enough all by themselves and don't need the help of borrowed material. This six-song disc is a nice, light snack, but don't leave us hanging, J.F.: bring on the full length. (Le Chant du Monde)