Album: Prairie Sky
Label: Self Released
As I sit writing on a cold and windy Monday morning in Northern England, Logan McKillop’s evocative compositions lift my spirits and provide a soothing soundtrack to my day. Sombre at times but in the best possible way, stark and uplifting, there’s definitely a mood to the album. It’s confessional, honest and, above all, mighty fine listening.
Delicate, intimate and catchy are words that instantly spring to mind upon first listen to Logan McKillop’s 20-track debut album, ‘Prairie Sky’. Logan’s voice is close and soft, reminiscent of Nick Drake in its delivery although distinct in tone, and of course accent.
Hailing from Onanole, Manitoba and a staple of the local roots scene, McKillop has extensive touring experience, playing all over Canada, Europe and the UK. Already finding fans across the ocean and gaining positive press from radio and magazines alike, Logan McKillop is a troubadour journeying throughout the land and meandering amongst musical genres. Distinctly rootsy, but never pinned down, McKillop ambles his way through folk, bluegrass and jazz with charming results.
The recording and production style is more than complimentary and works perfectly for McKillop’s wistful, folky songs. Produced by Lewis Melville in Guelph, ON the added instruments enhance the lyrical tone with subtle layers and textures of electric slide guitar, banjo, drums and percussion.
‘Lazy Days’ is a highlight for me: a lilting country song with lush vocal harmonies, a sweet sentiment and a tune that lingers in your mind long after the banjo fades. The catchy ‘Suggestions of Green’ is a jazzy departure from the country and folk styling of the bulk of the album. It showcases McKillop’s skilful guitar playing and ear for a memorable hook. Towards the end of the album, ‘If I was A Runner’ is another standout tune with a delightful vocal melody and thoughtful, relatable lyrics.
Upon receiving the album I worried that a 20 track debut was a little ambitious and certainly a bold move in a time where music is changing and people increasingly favour the quick fix. Clocking in at one hour, eighteen minutes it definitely bucks against the trend of modern albums, being as short as 30 or 40 minutes. However, given chance, you’ll find that this collection of songs is strong throughout with my personal favourite coming second to last.
As he attests on ‘If I Was A Runner’, “There’s always a song to sing…” and thankfully so, let’s hope we hear plenty more from Logan McKillop.
Benjamin William Pike