Karkwa – Les Chemins de Verre (Audiogram)
Will the Polaris jury finally recognize the efforts of a French-Canadian artist? Drawing the short straw among the writers, I assumed I was going to be writing the token blurb for the token Québecois band on the short list. But somewhere along my journey down Les Chemins de Verre I was forced to cast off some of my prejudices, many of which were unfairly formed by previous lackluster Polaris nominee, Malajube. The first track to grab me, ‘Marie, Tu Pleurs’ seems to have found a happy medium between the loose-strumming energy of Blitzen Trapper’s ‘Furr’ and the spacious melancholy of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’.
Les Chemins manages to weave through the indie-folk trappings without getting trapped. The variety and texture of percussion found throughout the album is reminiscent of fellow Montréaler Patrick Watson, who actually guests on the group’s previous effort Le Volume du Vent. French language aside, lead guitarist and vocalist Louis-Jean Cormier is a dead ringer for Watson when the softer, higher notes are what he’s going for, but on Les Chemins it’s never long before another twist or turn.Karkwa – Marie, Tu Pleurs
Extract from the article "Feature List Polaris Music Prize 2010 Short List Analysed " by Justin Everett, cavacool.com