Burn to the Ground
Hot off their collaboration on Slowking's energetic debut album, Rival Cities, Luke Michielsen and producer Mike "Dullboy" Langford teamed up in the summer of 2008 to record Michielsen's lilting and heartfelt solo effort, Burn to the Ground. Branching out from his dance-infused indie rock songwriting with Slowking, Luke has crafted a mellower sound that showcases a more emotionally intimate and nuanced side of this accomplished singer/songwriter. The ten tracks on Luke Michielsen's first full-length convey a brooding yet hopeful brand of folk rock. Stripped-down acoustic guitar and masterful vocals are the backbone of the album, and each song spins a different musical story with those instruments laying the groundwork. Two of the album's most powerful songs are recorded as solo pieces. The opening track, "Jack Pine," is driven by it's bold lead vocals and intricate finger-picking accompaniment, and the final track, "Yours and Mine," washes over the listener gently and sweetly with it's harmonically lush waltz in drop-D tuning featuring some of the album's most memorable lyrics. Kat Burns' back-ups beautifully complement Luke's voice and music. Often pushing the limits of typical harmonies, Burns' explorations with dissonance on the title track, "Burning," create a chromatic palette of emotion. The body of the album features eight songs orchestrated by combinations of upright piano, electric guitar, harmonica, double-bass, electric bass, banjo and vocal harmonies. Fan favourites that will translate nicely as singles from the album include: "Whenever You Hear This Song", a duet with Sarah Cook, with it's lively pop sound, juxtaposing lyrics that express a more complicated love than your average top 40 song and "Liars", with it's driving 6/8 rhythm and triumphant conclusion. Dive into this well-crafted album with your heart and ears open. Michielsen's debut full-length is a promising record that introduces an honest and talented new voice in Canadian folk rock.