Sarah Harmer

Oh Little Fire (Zoë / Rounder)

ACL Music Fest Friday Review

Sarah Harmer

Oh Little Fire (Zoë/Rounder)

Sarah Harmer knows the benefit of a bubbling-under profile, having been one of Canada's pet singer-songwriters since her days with college radio faves Weeping Tile. Her fourth album, Oh Little Fire, warms with a radio-polished gloss that doesn't play quite as close to Harmer's musical heart as 2006's I'm a Mountain, which garnered her a nomination for Canada's Polaris Music Prize. Not that Oh Little Fire's songs don't pop out of the frying pan and sizzle with cheeky attitude ("One Match," "Captive"), plus lyrics that are wistful but not sappy ("The Marble in Your Eye," "Late Bloomer," "Washington"). A lilting duet with fellow Canadian Neko Case ("Silverado") gives a good indication of her ascending star play, their voices intertwined bittersweet ("When it comes to dreams, we're suckers still"), though Harmer's a charmer on her own. (6:40pm, BMI stage)


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