LAUREN THOMSON FEAT. TAMI NEILSON: Chanteuses and Shotguns
By Amanda Mills
In June 2010 Lauren Thomson decamped to Canada to help record Tami Neilson’s ‘Kitchen Table Sessions Vol. II’ and returned with her own ‘sister’ album. Recorded around the kitchen table at the Neilson’s Toronto home, ‘Shotguns and Chanteuses’ is heavily coloured with country and folk sounds and influences, from the lyrics to the instrumentation (banjo, stompbox and steel guitar). Thomson’s voice is warm, and ‘countrified’ on many of the songs. She puts a great amount of energy and emotion into her vocals, which is mirrored back by the band’s performances. While the material here is firmly country, it does sometimes veer elsewhere, with the quiet and lilting Peter leaning towards Celtic folk, and No Good for My Soul (sung by Neilson) closer to bar-room stomp. The highlight is Where Would I Be, which won Thomson the MLT Songwriting Award for 2010, and showcases her vocal range and songwriting skills, while the only real jarring note is her unnecessary cover of Springsteen’s I’m on Fire, which is way too sing-a-long and lacks the burning intensity found in the lyrics. Despite this, the album is a pretty listen that will easily find fans.