view Independent By Jaymin Proulx www.hollymcnarland.


There is an element of sanguinity with Holly McNarland’s newest release Run Body R un. If you’re like many from an earlier era, you may recall the Winnipeg lady’s 1995 ‘Sour Pie’, 1997’s ‘Stuff’, 2002’s ‘Home is Where My Feet Are’, 2006’s ‘Komrade Session’s an 2007’s ‘Chin Up Buttercup’. McNarland is one artist that has truly glued her feet to ground with Run Body Run: she went back to her independent roots, void of any in dustry mongrel pulling on her strings like a marionette, which is ironically the premise behind Stuff’s “Elmo.” Regardless, with this album she went solo. No record label, no manager, no criti c. This freedom granted her the mobility to write, orchestrate, and perform on h er own accord. Having been touted as a Canadian great, she has achieved numerous accolades: a JUNO Award and gold and platinum albums. She also has bragging rig hts by helping write songs for other musicians and fully embraces her Metris her itage: headlining at Aboriginal events like National Aboriginal Achievement Awar ds in Calgary in 2004 and the Celebration of Aboriginal Canadian Women in 2008. Run Baby Run blends fire and water. The first track, “Alone’s Just Fine,” is an entran ce into a complicated women’s soul: she didn’t put up any walls writing this album, but also managed to avoid harsh self-criticism which has been her nature in the past. She’s okay with being alone, which is hard for some people to bear or accept , but Holly, it’s A-OK with it. “Hold on for nothing Wash away my sins I hate to be alone sometimes But sometimes alone’s just fine.” “Dig A Little” is another McNarland classic: a strong, feisty chorus, bellowing with passion and intensity, yet alluding to sweet, sensitive verses. The striking feature with this album, is honest and straight-forward song-writin g, but with a very complex woman behind the microphone and lead guitar. McNarlan d was completely open with reconnecting with her fans and allowed listeners to a ttest to their favourite McNarland tune, through a contest that ended earlier Ma y 20. This album has a slight country sound, but with rock elements infused throughout . Just when you expect a fading dynamic, McNarland pounces back with fortitude. One small suggestion, however, would be to have included some alt-rock sounds th at made her synonymous with early female rock and stayed true to her steadfast r oots.

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