Forest City Lovers – review

Forest City Lovers live at the Apollo - photo by Darren McChristie

This band’s folk-pop music on record is accomplished, cerebral, and a sonic landscape of female harmonies, strings and pop instrumentation.  The primary songwriter and singer Kat Burns has a quiet confidence in her voice, kicking lyrics, and the arrangements are very sophisticated on their new album Carriage. When they came to town for two shows at the Apollo on July 22nd and 23rd , I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions:

Who would like to see win the Polaris Prize?

Shad

Where have you been touring?

Four times across Canada, across Europe, some dates in the U.S.

How do bar venues respond to your instrumentation?

Good, and many times there are interesting venues that are not necessarily bars.

For the benefit of old folks, if it was 1975, would you be Patti Smith, Karen Carpenter, or Joni Mitchell?

Patty Smith, because she’s a trailblazer.

Kat Burns - Forest City Lovers, photo by Darren McChristie

I saw the show on Friday night. They came to town on Canadian music magazine Exclaim!’s cross-Canada tour bandwagon, traveling with the opening band The Evening Hymns.  This was a trio of singers, also from Toronto, who played guitars and synths with no drummer.  Later when the Forest City Lovers were on stage, they added harmonies from the back of the bar.  Kat Burns took the stage with three other players. She played electric guitar or keyboard, and bass, drums and violin players backed her up and sung. The set was mostly from the new album, beginning with Tell Me, Cancer, a song with the lyric, “Tell your mother you passed the test/Befriended the good ones and left all the rest”.  It was very good playing, songs turning on a dime to almost shuffle in to rocking out.  They played one more date in Sault St. Marie before heading home, and we got the benefit seeing the tail end of a long tour.  It was tight and the crowd was happy.

Discography:

The Sun and the Wind (independent) 2006

Haunting Moon Sinking (Out of This Spark) 2008

Phodilus and Tyto 7” single on vinyl (Out of This Spark) 2009

Carriage (Out of This Spark) 2010