When: Sat., April 7, 10 p.m. 2012
Toronto seems to have a special capacity for producing soft-spoken singer-songwriters—most famously Ron Sexsmith and Jason Collett—who can hit hard emotionally despite insinuating more than they declare. Afie Jurvanen, who performs as Bahamas and spent the past few years playing guitar with Feist, belongs in their company. His music is subtle—I'll admit that I only skimmed his 2009 debut, Pink Strat, when it came out in the States last year—but now that he's released his even better second album, Barchords (Brushfire), I'm making up for lost time. Jurvanen situates his smoky, subdued melodies in ingeniously lean arrangements punctuated by the occasional George Harrison-esque lead guitar; nearly all of his songs grapple with shortcomings in relationships, but rather than wallow in self-pity, he confronts the problems head-on with rare candor. On "I Got You Babe" (which has nothing to do with the Sonny & Cher tune), he owns up to having been a jerk, then asks, "Looking back, would you / Cut me some slack." Not only has Barchords grown on me like kudzu, but it's also persuaded me to go back and find the greatness in Pink Strat. —Peter Margasak Fort Frances opens.
Price: $12, $10 in advance