Days in Frames
Few Canadian artists have as fascinating a double musical life as Kevin Hearn. Best known as the long-time (20 years) keyboardist for pop heroes Barenaked Ladies (and a former Rheostatic), he is also a highly adventurous, accomplished and prolific singer/songwriter. His talent as a musician was recognised by Lou Reed, who made him musical director of his ace band for the last six year's of Reed's life. Hopefully that resume entry will place more focus on Hearn's seriously undervalued solo work. Days in Frames, his seventh album, is a masterful effort, featuring plaintive and poignant vocals, philosophical and poetic lyrics, and intriguing art-rock meets melodic pop compositions. Cameos are taken by Reed (guitar and some lyrics on "Floating"), Ron Sexsmith, Dan Hill and Don Kerr, with clean production by Gavin Brown (Metric, Sarah Harmer).
Hearn and an A-list band (including Tim Bovaconti and Hugh Marsh) launched the disc at Toronto's The Piston this week, with a brilliant set for an appreciative crowd that included Sexsmith and Brown. Let's hope for more dates to come.