Annabelle Chvostek Ensemble 'Rise' - Borealis

Canadian singer-songwriter Annabelle Chvostek has released a number of fine recordings over the last ten years. You may know her from her association with the Wailin’ Jennies and on this set of songs, Annabelle displays her political and social concerns with tracks like the G20 Song and Do You Think You’re Right (Jesus Camp). We get a Polka influenced rhythm and an acoustic strum reminiscent of Joan Baez at her most indignant.

In between, we are treated to some fine musical arrangements and understated guitar motifs from David Celia, who really fills out the songs and shines throughout this strong set. Cover versions of a Lou Reed song, Some Kinda Love, and Equal Rights by Peter Tosh finish the twelve tracks in a slow groove that leaves the listener wanting to hit the play button again, just to soak up the diverse soundscape on display here.

The track Rise paints a picture of corporate greed, while All Have Some is a rebuke to the taking of Indian lands by a Government, where native people found themselves ‘imprisoned in the land of the free’. Bruce Cockburn turns up on this track for moral support and the themes of injustice and community standing strong, run through many of these songs like a bright light. I am reminded of the great talents of Eliza Gilkyson in the vocal delivery and writing of Annabelle Chvostek; both warm and full of powerful inflection.Songs for the expanding community of socially aware musical brethren.