Oh Little Fire


Canadian Sarah Harmer’s fifth album offers her most engaging effort since her days in the 1990s group Weeping Tile. While her last offering, 2005’s I’m a Mountain, included intimate observations from an eco expedition through Southern Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, the new record has her lightening her load with subjects less dire and more inclusive. By finding footing in cheerier realms, Harmer sounds more assured and less constrained on Oh Little Fire. From the initial surge of “The Thief” to the kinetic pulse of “The City,” it moves at a casual clip, crossing the transom with a sense of blissful satisfaction echoed in songs such as “On Match” and “Careless.” “Silverado” dips one toe into country, while “New Loneliness” and “It Will Sail” drift along with dewy-eyed reflection. Oh Little Fire is a slow burn, subtly suggesting that Harmer’s days of introspection may be producing a growing sense of optimism.

– Lee Zimmerman

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