It’s not quite a drag, but she’ll pull you along in anguished, articulate sing-song nonetheless.
Continental Drag, the debut LP from East-Coast singer/songwriter and savagely poignant siren Klarka Weinwurm, is a swirling, wintry squall of sentiment and heartfelt soliloquy.
Originally slated for release in 2011, the album heralds heartbreak, hometown woes and habit.
Recorded at the Old Confidence Lodge in Riverport, Nova Scotia, the album is a charming, chilly wash of East-Coast sincerity and Eastern-European ennui. Bridging the gap between Weinwurm’s Nova Scotia reality and her subversive Slovak background, the themes of attachment, longing and uncertainty run rampant through the record.
“I drew a picture that I cannot erase/it’s a shame,” sings Weinwurm on the surprisingly stoic and dark “Little Pictures,” written about acquaintances gone missing on a boat tour. It’s that kind of morbid beauty that underlies the entire record, with Weinwurm as the harbinger of terrible and achingly beautiful truths.
“Won’t find me now, I’m better than that,” she admits, adorned with pity on the icy, chilling Caroline. “Always waste my time/Always bring to mind that I could do better/that’s fine,” comes her honest onslaught, moments before the macabre and gorgeous, downtrodden refrain of “Come into the cold, Caroline.”
Coming after a couple of predominantly acoustic releases, this side of Weinwurm is agitatingly and acidically intimate, a royal flush of fell swoops and swooning string swells.
“Fireflies/highway summer drives/beady eyes cried,” she sings, unsettlingly on “Houses Shake.” She crafts an achingly cold beauty, painstaking details and diatribes, as Jon McKiel’s gravely baritone backs and beefs up the melody.
This is Weinwurm’s first recorded foray into full-band territory and it brilliantly showcases the brooding intensity of her live performance and the intangible, intricate intimacy of her low-key, acoustic aches. Worth the wait, it’s released just in time to soundtrack long, alcohol and drug-addled walks home to hot cocoa, thick blankets and hugs.
Comforting, yet confronting, Weinwurm crafts a staggeringly beautiful icy canvas of longing and languid, lovelorn melodies on her first full-length, culminating in gushing praise and obsessive listening.
By Nick Laugher