Whether by pavement or on rails, long has the road song been celebrated in folk and Americana. Inspired by Norine Braun’s actual ‘Riding the Rails’ tour as a designated ‘Artist on Board’ alongside partner Alice Frasier, Through Train Windows has plenty of them. Having journeyed over 6,000 kilometers from Vancouver to Ottawa, Montreal, and beyond, the Canadian singer-songwriter clearly had plenty picturesque to take in when getting down to crafting this homage to her adventures on-board. Reflective of the Rocky Mountains, chilly forests, vast prairies, and endless seas of Braun’s travels, the artist’s newest offering is as textured, varied, and vibrant as the melange of landscapes from whence it came.
More-so than milquetoast, strummy folk, Braun’s Through Train Windows is an exercise in layered Americana, taking the best of what makes folk tick beside the blues to craft a convincing roots rock experience. Such ebullience is easy to ascertain from the opening moments of ‘Sleeping Buffalo’, Braun’s hearty vocals offering a forward soul to the song as it continues to unfurl a rich production. Truly indicative of the aforementioned prairies as well as the train on which she rode, Braun navigates the multifarious sounds swirling about her and communicates them in a way which conveys this atmosphere to her listeners. It’s not at all difficult to begin grasping the meticulous, heartfelt nature with which Braun approached developing this special release.
The album’s remaining twelve songs are a continued showcase of each positive mentioned above. Case-in-point, Braun is just as masterful a songwriter as she is an artist. Able to relate the stories of her travels and the thoughts and actions they brought about, Through Train Windows injects a breezy, bluesy cool into the realm of folk narration. The end result is an album most certainly worth giving an ear to not just for its truly unique beginnings, but for the lushness through which every bit of its composition is relayed.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)