New Music Tuesday Review: Elizabeth Shepherd, Heavy Falls the Night



Heavy Falls the Night

Elizabeth Shepherd manages to make music that’s eminently listenable without ever verging into easy-listening territory. Mixing pop sensibility in with strong jazz roots often leads to that land of watered-down sound, but Shepherd’s latest takes us along for the ride to a new, undiscovered country. Album opener “What Else” starts out percussive and bright, giving way to smooth vocal bridges. Title track “Heavy Falls the Night,” with it’s thrumming double bass, is a showcase for Shepherd’s vocal prowess—her voice is equally sure in a throaty, low register as it is scatting octaves higher. “High” loops vocals over electronics and compelling electric guitar, ending with Shepherd’s spritely piano. And then there’s her slowed-down, fresh take on the Anne Murray classic “Danny’s Song.” When she sings, “Even though we ain’t got money/I’m so in love with you honey,” it feels like the first time you ever heard that easy rhyme. The record is eclectic but completely cohesive. Spring’s arriving early in Winnipeg, and despite the title, this record is a perfect accompaniment for any and all seasonally-induced exuberance. Mark your calendars: Elizabeth Shepherd rolls into our town on Wednesday, May 26 at the Park Theatre. (Do Right Music, Jenny Henkelman