Bahamas, Basia Bulat | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Bahamas

Bahamas

When: Wed., Oct. 1, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: sold out
The new Bahamas album, Bahamas Is Afie (Brushfire), snuck up on me gradually, like its predecessors; Afie Jurvanen’s deferential, easygoing singing plants his melodies as seedlings, and over the course of three minutes his overdubbed harmony vocals and nifty instrumental embellishments nurture them to full-grown beauty. Bahamas belongs to a little community of smart songwriters around Toronto, and shares their laconic wit, laid-back vibe, and crazy catchiness. Jurvanen spent several years playing behind Leslie Feist, with whom he shares a penchant for soaring choruses (demonstrated on album opener “Waves”), and his gentle, conversational, almost sleepy singing style seems like he might’ve picked it up from Ron Sexsmith (the drummer on most of this record, Don Kerr, has worked with Sexsmith). But his lyrics are clearer and more direct than those of his fellow Torontonians; on “Stronger Than That” he describes his romantic feelings as “the size of a beast with a bark like a big kick drum.” And his expression of support and empathy on “Like a Wind” (“Laugh it off if you’re feeling soft / Then let me in”) doesn’t need to be elaborate, because the words glide upon irresistible melodies that drip gently into the spaces in his sparsely strummed and plucked guitar part. —Peter Margasak
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