Kandle - "Holy Smoke" review

Well it's not everyday that I hear a release (either from a band I follow, or a new band) when I really say "WOW!!!".  I mean, I have done that in the past but it’s almost like an evolution of my musical tastes.  First came the Beatles “White Album” when I first heard it way back when I was in high school.  Next up was my Heavy Metal stage where I was introduced to Iron Maiden.  However it wasn’t until hearing Judas Priests compilation of early 70's materials "Hero Hero" and then releases "Sad Wings of Destiny" and "Sin After Sin" (2nd side) that I heard what hard rock sounded like if it was more artistic.  Queensryches album “Rage for Order” was another one of those WoW albums.  “Hemispheres” by Rush and “Trick of the Tail” by Genesis were also inspirational to me.  Jesus Christ Superstar was almost the pinnacle of concept albums to me.  Next step in my evolution was Kate Bush, especially her albums “Never for Ever”, “The Dreaming” and “The Hounds of Love”.  Listening to songs such as “Babooshka”, “Breathing”, Night of the Swallow” “Jig of Life” and “Hello Earth” were and still are an out of body experience for me. 

Fast forward to 2019 and I heard the latest Queensryche release titled “The Verdict”.  It was fantastic with not a bad song on the whole album.  The songs were crafted brilliantly, so were the instrumental arrangements, and the production was superb.  Very reminiscent of what Kate Bush would sound like if she had a heavy metal arrangement.  A perfect mix. 

This brings to me to the present with Canadian Singer Songwriter Kandle.  She popped up on my Instagram feed with some interesting music.  Checked out some more and ended up downloading her last album “Holy Smoke”. 

There’s not a bad song on the album.  It’s very eclectic which has always a plus for me.  To my ears, it’s as if K.d. Lang, Adele, Kate Bush, Toris Amos, and Natasha Khan (Bats for Lashes), adopted a child and raised her on their own music.  Then once a week, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury came over to babysit.  Peter Gabriel might show up on occasion and help out with the groceries and cook dinner.  So it’s pretty Artsy Fartsy, Dramatic, Dark, and features Fantastic Sonic Textures and Changing Moods.  It goes without saying that her voice is magnificent.  A pop style with a country, bluesy attitudes. 

What’s also great is that I think the songs in themselves are excellent.  These songs would all probably sound just as moving with only vocal and piano, or vocal and guitar.  Her choice of chords and melody notes are usually Consonant  with sprinkles of slight Jazzy Bluesy Dissonance thrown in for something special.  So great songs in themselves.  Add all the arrangement and production bells and whistles and it’s fantastic. 

I’ve only had this album a few days and I think if it was a CD or vinyl, I would’ve already worn it out.  For a special treat, listen via head phones as this rivals any stereo effects that Pink Floyd ever did. 

If you love any of the above artists or styles, I highly recommend you check out Kandle. 



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