Sarah Harmer

Oh Little Fire

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In the five years between I’m a Mountain (2005) and Oh Little Fire (2010), acclaimed Canadian songstress Sarah Harmer has kept busy with a combination of environmental activism and guest appearances on albums from the likes of Blue Rodeo, the Weakerthans, Bruce Cockburn, Great Big Sea, and Neko Case, the latter of whom returns the favor on Oh Little Fire. Harmer's winning blend of country, folk, and indie pop is propelled, in part, by her even, expressive tenor, which comes off as a well-maintained bridge between Suzanne Vega and Leslie Feist. Likable and accessible, it would be easy to write her off as just another capable singer/songwriter in an industry stuffed to the rafters with capable singer/songwriters, were it not for her ability to take a simple melody and turn it into something special. Oh Little Fire is filled with those moments, whether it’s the delayed “t” at the end of the word light on the driving single “Captive,” the damp, dirt-road pacing of “Washington,” or the way she and Case wrap their voices around “Silverado” like two sisters on the back of covered wagon. It’s a subtle record to be sure, but one that rewards those who are willing to take the time to let it enter the bloodstream.

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