Death is resilient, clingy as ivy. When the funeral ends and everyone goes home, it remains, like an unwanted house guest. Death's branches have long framed the Toronto musician Jennifer Castle's work. This time, she says, "I wanted to try to put it in my center vision." But death's rude presence belies the album's charming and often breezy qualities.
In life, the fire of memento mori fuels us all on some level. The knowledge that's innate, even if not in our consciousness - one day we're going to die. Most of us deal with this in a number of different ways. We find the loves of our lives. We work hard, save up our money, acknowledge our ….
"Tonight the Evening," on Canadian songwriter Jennifer Castle's third solo full-length, is larger and longer and more dramatic than anything she's ever released, a seven-and-a-half minute, full-band epic that meshes her beautifully breathy, tremulous voice to a widescreen cinematic soundscape. Her band here, largely drawn from the Canadian alt.country band One Hundred Dollars (guitarists Paul Mortimer and David Clarke, steel pedalist Stew Crookes and organist Jonathan Adjemian are all veterans of that group), envelops her in airy, enveloping propulsion. Multiple guitars cascade and twine around each other, a string quartet swells under her, and a wash of pillowy voices joins hers in intoxicating motion.