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Sarah Harmer

Oh Little Fire – 2010 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Tim Johnson

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CDs by Sarah Harmer

After four years in the wilderness (sometimes literally - she did quite a bit of rock climbing and camping and spent time advocating for environmental issues), Sarah Harmer has returned with her fifth album. Co-produced with Gavin Brown, from Toronto indie rock band Metric, the album mixes Harmer's trademark style with a tiny pinch of alt.-rock, starting with the opening tracks, The Thief and Captive, which feature urgent guitars and a more immediate sound.

Harmer wrote almost all of the songs, and she shows her classic sunny side on One Match, a fun, catchy tune (and the closest thing you'll find to a title track) about sparking love. Silverado, the one track that she didn't write, features backing vocals by red-headed indie rocker Neko Case, and mixes steel guitars with a general throwback hippie feel.

In the end, with an album that's so thoroughly Harmer (produced, written, vocals), the way you feel about this album will depend directly on how you feel about Sarah Harmer. If you like her, you'll love it.