[Album Review] Marin Patenaude and the Follow Through- Marin Patenaude and the Follow Through
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Release Date: April 14th, 2016
Label: Independent

It’s a rarity to find an artist who is just as comfortable in the green fields of country/roots as they are in the smoky city backrooms of jazz and soul. If k d lang comes to mind then you have an inkling of the musical world of Marin Patenaude. But it is just an inkling. Patenaude is a singular talent and her sound is purely her own.

In essence Patenaude is a musical poet with a keen eye for human nature and interaction. You could call it confessional folk, but it actually takes on many musical forms, such as alt country, contemporary pop jazz, indie and bluegrass. To make the pot even sweeter Patenaude selects some of Vancouver’s finest musicians to back her up. The likes of Peggy Lee, Cole Schmidt, Jesse Zubot (to name just a few) may sound like a motley crew, especially when you consider that most of them are not usually associated with roots or alt folk. Collectively, however, they complement Patenaude with clear affection and a very basic appreciation of her art.

Subtleties abound (or is that an oxymoron?). Zubot’s violin adds to both the melancholy and the urbanity of the cool lounge blues of “Carnegie Curves”, while Scott Smith’s pedal steel moans like a bitter mountain wind through “No Sleeping It Off”. At first it might strike one as strange that Tyson Naylor throws in touches of ‘Animals’ era Pink Floyd synth work on “The Dark”, but it fits in to Patenaude’s musical universe like a glove. Perhaps it is no coincidence that she utters the line, “Have faith in the follow through,” on that particular song.

It is fitting that Patenaude closes the album with the rollicking knee-slapper “Go Where We Belong”. Her music, after all, is like life itself – there is sorrow, pain and dark reflection, but at the end of the day if you can’t have fun then what’s the point?