Under Review

Various Artists

In the House Festival (Digital Media Alliance)

Review By Melissa Foye

Ever wish you could just go to a different country and immerse yourself in another culture? Just pick up and take off to Ireland, Africa or India? Welcome to In the House Festival’s first compilation album since its inception five years ago. While this album won’t actually whisk you away, it will expose you to music so culturally diverse, you’ll begin feeling that you’re somewhere else. This is perhaps fitting, as the main objective of the In the House Festival is to showcase local and international musicians, actors, dancers and artists by literally bringing them to your doorstep. People are encouraged to open up both their living rooms and hearts to provide a venue where artists can share their talents. The festival takes place every year during the first weekend of June, as well as on the fifth of every month.

While the first CD will please the ears of those drawn to the singer/songwriter genre, the second CD will appeal to those with more adventurous ears. “Pretty Little Bird (The Saint of Vancouver)” by Montreal’s Mark Berube lends a haunting, cabaret feel to the mix, reminiscent of both Hawksley Workman and Sarah Slean. For those music nerds who can’t turn down a game of ‘Guess that time signature,’ check out Blue Island Trio’s “The Crwth” and listen as they weave seamlessly in between time signatures like a pair of shoelaces tying the song together.

Those struggling with Blue Island Trio’s metric modulation madness may appreciate La Candela’s contribution “Baila Baila.” This Vancouver-based quintet consists of formally trained musicians who prove that they are very well-versed in traditional Cuban music. It’s impossible to stop your hips from moving while listening to this song.

There is something for everyone on this release, and In the House Festival will force you to open your ears, and quite possibly your door.