Born into a musical family on Bowen Island, Sarah Jane Scouten is a fresh breath of air within the folk music genre. With a new perspective on the established form of music, it is no challenge to see why Scouten is a three-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee. In her fourth album Confessions, Scouten delves into emotional frictions with elegance.
For instance, the song “I’m A Rattlesnake,” features rugged bass, along with other elements of garage rock. The dynamic and choppy beat compliments the confidence emitting from the vocals. Its rough style provides an unforeseen, yet pleasant, change from the rest of the album. This is just one of the examples of how capable Scouten is with incorporating various genres into her music with fluidity.
Another highlight, “Pneumonia (To Love),” is a heartfelt ballad that mourns the blissful ignorance of youth and shares the pains of an internal agony. The song’s simple, cheeky melody and casual humour provide a substantial contrast to the grim lyrics. The torture from the trauma can be felt through Scouten’s trembling and tearful voice, exposing to the listener a hidden pain.
The lyrics throughout Confessions expose everyday ups and downs with intimate vocals that can capture anyone. The honesty of the album evokes empathy, making it both refreshing and comforting to the listener. The songs do not attempt to hide their humanity and flaws — they are meant to be taken in as is. This unapologetic approach is quite applaudable, especially in the present climate of overproduction and autotune. If one needs captivating, taste-breaking music, Confessions is my recommendation.