In May, Kara Keith will be recording a new record in Montreal with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade). Right now, though, she’s released an EP. And it’s good. Really good.

Kara was the lead singer and keyboard player for Falconhawk, a band hot with college kids in Canada,
but now she’s breaking out on her own. (One account I read says she had originally tried to name her new band “The Tight Niggaz,” but soon gave it up.)

Her EP starts with its least accessible track. “Gorgeous Gets the Gold” sounds like something Laurie Anderson might have made. It’s eccentric chick music in the extreme. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not pulling me in. But this odd song is followed by pure pop: The bouncy piano-and-syth cut, “Kick This City.” This is a fun tune, but it doesn’t offer anything
unfamiliar. I’m not bowled over yet, but the third track comes and that all changes. A solid guitar riff, a horn section, a rad keyboard solo . . . “Get Up and Go Go” is as good as anything off of The Killer’s Sam’s Town. A great throwback to the heyday of new wave. Right on the heels of that toe-tapper comes “Dirty Girl,” with quick tempo changes, great lyrics, and wonderful vocals. This is the gem of the disc, which, on repeated listens, is fast becoming a shoo-in for one of the best EPs of the year. “Knosses,” the cover, retreats back to the weirdness of the first song, but after the ride I’ve just been on I’m happy for the slowdown. It also works much better. A forlorn hook (“You are lost, I will find you anywhere”) over sad piano. Kara harmonizes with herself and makes my ears happy.

Check it out.

Kick This City-Kara Keith

The City’s End-Falconhawk

Try a little longer-Falconhawk

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