Following on from the theme of his last record - Better Human (2018) - this Toronto-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is still striving for personal and sonic perfection. "I'm still changing for the better" he assures the listener in Year.
Kunder is sensitive to as fault and any rough edges are refined to the point that raw emotional content is effectively neutralized. The result is unassuming melodic folk-pop pitched somewhere between Simon & Garfunkel and Bon Iver
All ten songs have one word titles and it's a pity there's not the same restraint when it comes to the arrangements. Most tracks are burdened by an excess of orchestral schmaltz and some, like Colours are laden with excruciatingly twee la-la-la choruses.
Co-produced with Aaron Goldstein at Baldwin Street Sound and Chris Stringer at Union Sound Company, the album features singer Carleigh Aikins, drummer Loel Campbell, and keyboardist Anthony Carone.
The care and attention to detail behind this record is evident but it all comes over as a well-crafted confection.
Ben Kunder's website