Preparing for the end of the year for me usually means cleaning out my iPod (it's the only resolution I can keep) and making room for the new tracks that I'll obsess about in the upcoming year.
The process usually makes me curse when I realize how much money I have actually spent downloading music from iTunes—I figure if I'm constantly suggesting to people what music download, I should practice what I preach. (My VISA bill is RIDICULOUS).
But I digress.
One way of my favourites at this time of the year is the inevitable customary mash-up of all the big hits of the year...and this year's entry is amazing.
You may think you've heard Wendy Lands. Maybe it was her vocal interpretations of Wladyslaw Szpilman's classics on the haunting CD companion to the Oscar winning film 'The Pianist'. It could have been on her JUNO nominated confessional hit CD 'Angels & Ordinary Men'. Or maybe you were in the audience for the original Canadian production of 'Les Miserables', where she starred as 'Eponine'. You may just remember Lands as half of the late 80's duo 'Double Dare'. After all that, it would be understandable to believe you'd 'heard' Wendy Lands. But you would be wrong.
All of the above were stops on a journey - one that culminates in the vulnerable ache - the jazzy undertow that is Mumble (available on iTunes). Only when you've heard these sparsely yet soulfully arranged songs filled with lyrical depth, a pop - jazz - rootsy sensibility and the kind of vocal stylings, will you have truly heard Wendy Lands.
With Mumble, Wendy taps into her years of acclaimed songwriting to tell her own stories of vulnerability, flirtation and desire, fulfilled and unfulfilled. The album is a good night, a sweet morning after and a serenade where sentimental meets sensual.
Why Mumble? As Wendy explains it, "To me a mumble is the first utterance of the naked truth - the subconscious coming to the surface, unfiltered by the conscious. That's what these songs are for me; what I feel and dream but can't always say. So I sing."
So lean in and hear her sing. Close your eyes. Let her wash over and through you - and hear Wendy Lands Mumble. It's definitely goes down as one of my favourite albums from 2011.
Follow Wendy Lands on Twitter @WendyLands
I discovered this track back in the Spring and I've been obsessed with it ever since...and finally it's made its overdue way to radio.
For those days where you just need an awesome song with a romantic vibe.
It's SO so so good.
Did I mention I was kinda obsessed with this song?
Parachute - Kiss Me Slowly from their album 'The Way It Was'