Falconhawk soars on melancholy album - 4½ out of 5

By Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Sun

With a heavenly, self-harmonizing voice, Calgary 's Kara Keith is back at the front of an artistically satisfying Falconhawk record.

A master of melodic minor keys, her albums come across as the diary of someone who sighs a lot when she's not drinking, things she occasionally decides she wants fading ever into the distance while weird distractions keep her basically happy enough.

There is as much want here as there are pretty keyboards, switching back and forth between crackling synth and piano. I love the sound of this record, the simple, rolling roadtrip we sit calmly in the back seat for as she turns her head back and tells us things

about herself when she might otherwise be watching the traffic.

"All I ever hear is 'calm down.' All you ever say is 'calm down,' " she sings from that same reluctantly muted rainbow of the Sneaker Pimps and the Shins. These words make the listener think that either the singer is a spaz or - because we are on her side - that the

person she is complaining to is not very good for her, if not indeed bad. On the menacing, vaguely Laurie Anderson-ish next song Keith sings a monotone "Wish I was in love with you ... it's easy when you get out."

The thing I really like about Here's Your Ghost, illustrated wonderfully by a mittened hand holding a popsicle stick phantom on the front cover in a clearly Albertan winter, is that while vulnerable, it's not whining. It is an effort that was either written in a time of heartbreak, or with one so powerful in mind that the effect is the same.

I'm not blue in the slightest and was truly moved by Keith's hurt little girl voice stressing things she'd rather not know. The very act of beauty the album creates is the hope, even if the lyrics are shy about admitting the world is a wonderful place.

 And the cello and piano outro almost made me cry.

 Find it, buy it.