Artist: Norine Braun: vocals, acoustic guitar and rhythm guitar; Adam Popowitz: lead Guitar and bass; Elliot Polsky: drums and percussion; Huggybear Leonard: blues harp; and Steve Hilliam: tenor sax
Album: ‘Through Train Windows;’ Producer: Adam Popowitz; Mixing and mastering: Rear Window Song and Sound Studios
Taking the time to reflect on the paradoxes of life is a powerful motivator for many people in their search for the true meaning of their existences. That’s certainly the case for Vancouver-based singer-songwriter, Norine Braun, who released her latest album, ‘Through Train Windows,’ earlier this month. The eclectic 13-track record was inspired in part by her trip across her native Canada last year on the title train, as she met and communed with her the diverse fellow travelers.
The journey led the award-winning artist to keep an eye to the past, while also firmly looking forward to the future. She effortlessly blended timeless elements such as blues, folk and soul with a freshness and balance that are in tune with today’s sensibilities. Braun’s emotional approach to songwriting and her prowess as a heartfelt performer are the fundamentals of her solid reputation within her local community in Canada, as well as across international airwaves.
‘Through Train Windows’ begins with the enticing entry, ‘Sleeping Buffalo,’ which features Braun’s captivating vocals that are set against an up-tempo strumming on the acoustic guitar. Also fueled by traces of the harmonica, the overall country, blues, folk and soul sound projects an intimate feel throughout the song. Similar in style to Ray LaMontage and Bob Dylan, Braun stunningly chronicles and contemplates her experience of traveling within her home country. She also firmly declares that no one else knows what kind of emotional state she’s in, so she’s determined to create her own path, which will be influenced in part by her experiences.
‘Sleeping Buffalo’ then delves into the upbeat sophomore track on Braun’s new album, which is titled ‘I’m Going Home,’ on which the singer offers dynamic vocal range. The added intriguing blend of country-folk-blues instrumentation, including the guitar, bass, harmonica, drums and percussion, gives the track an energetic rhythm. The singer croons that she’s lonely in this world of sin, as no one sees the emotional shape she’s in, or can save her soul. While she embraces the path she has taken on her journey, she still enthusiastically declares that her heart will open again when she reaches home.
Another noteworthy tune on ‘Through Train Windows’ is the sixth entry, ‘Heading Up North,’ which is a simple ballad that’s driven in part by the skillful strumming from the acoustic and electric guitars. The folk-inspired song chronicles how Braun has appreciated the journey she has embarked on. She emotionally declares that she’ll contemplate new experiences she has had traveling, and will never forget the people she has met along the way, as they have all influenced her views on life.
‘Heading Up North’ then transitions into the next track on the record, which is titled ‘I’m Moving On.’ Featuring an indie folk-rock sound, Braun naturally infuses a vulnerability into her vocals. The blues-inspired tune also features a stunning mix of the harmonica and the rock guitars. While the musician compares a breakup to the journey she had on her cross-country train trip, the entry still features an uplifting melody and a catchy vibe. She croons about looking out the window for a sign that she can arrive at her next destination in peace. While her memories are still appearing to her, she accepts that she must await her fate, no matter how long it takes.
Another meaningful song on ‘Through Train Windows’ is its penultimate track, ‘Heaven Only Knows.’ Strongly driven in part by the electric guitar strumming and startling piano melody, the rock tune features Braun’s electrically charged vocals. The singer contemplates how her life would have been different if she had been in a different place when a significant event happened to her. But she admits that she knows her fears and bad times won’t last forever, as she also contemplates how her destiny will determine her fate.
‘Heaven Only Knows’ then delves into the album’s final entry, its title track. The uptempo, energized song features a bustling blues and country beat. Fueled by an electric sax and guitar, Braun gives powerful spoken word performance. ‘Through Train Windows’ notes how any significant journey is powerful in helping people realize who they are as a person.
Taking the time to reflect on the mysteries of life is a compelling motivator for many people in their search for the true meaning of their existences. That’s certainly the case for Braun, who powerfully contemplates her life’s journeys on ‘Through Train Windows.’ The eclectic album was inspired in part by her trip across her native Canada last year on the title train, which led the musician to keep an eye to the past, while also firmly looking forward to the future. Braun’s passionate approach to songwriting and her expertise in being a profound performer are the fundamentals of her solid reputation within her local community in Canada, as well as across international airwaves.