Karla Kane “King’s Daughters Home for Incurables”
Karla Kane is the main vocalist behind The Corner Laughers, and she’s branched out with a sweet folk-pop album. Kane uses her ukulele to weave a simple melody full of traditional old world charm and her lithe vocals are like a warm comfy sweater on the title track. “Wishing Tree” is closer to The Laughers style of melodic pop, with angelic harmonies and minor chords with spoken word poem by favorite Martin Newell.
The Anglo-centric theme continues on the simple “Skylarks of Britain.” The joyous “Lilac Line” is another gem with a spritely chorus of “Lolly Leopard, I could live forever with you.” and the lovely “Don’t Hush, Darling” is a lullaby of female empowerment. Even The Laughers favorite “Grasshopper Clock” gets the unplugged treatment. The spartan arrangements keep the songs intimate and make this a great album for a quiet night.
The Forty Nineteens “Good Fortune”
If Karla Kane is a bit too mellow for your mood, then you can’t go wrong with California based band, The Forty Nineteens. This is power pop with a garage band ethos and the hook-filled opener “And Such and Such” makes it easy to come on board. There is plenty of variety here as “Easy Come Easy Go” has a punkier approach, and “My Camaro (Have Some Fun)” mines the retro guitar melody from “Tequila.”
The band tries a psyche-pop turn with “Purple Microdot,” and the vocal harmonies don’t quite work – but its trippy all the same. Thankfully there are lots of good songs here, and rarely did I hear a dud. More recommended songs are “Let Love In,” a great cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Time is On My Side” and the sweet finale “Two Pillows.” Highly Recommended.