You’re a petal in the breeze when you hear Karla Kane. Her fairy-tale folk arrangements are imbued with a calmness and a caprice. Her chosen instrument, the ever sprightly ukulele, carries her tender, airy voice like a radiant nimbus.
But Kane, who comes to Ann Arbor on May 11, is more inclined toward fables, or what you’d call “magical realism,” because while she may sing of Kings and Magicians, grasshopper clocks and wishing trees, there are threads of real-world ponderings, of true-to-life anxieties, and sporadic clearings in the otherwise enchanted aural forests where she is not a mere daydreamer, but a paladin forthrightly unfurling what can seem like an ever-growing list of tensions. That’s why we’ll highlight “All Aboard” as a standout from her debut album, released late in 2017…
Kane wrote several of the songs on this new album underneath the shade of the oak tree in her California backyard. The wistfulness, the magic, the musings, were inspired by a couple years’ worth of European tours, where she ruminated on an incurable feeling of confusion as we’re each, every day, confronted with so much beauty and yet so much that can discourage us from appreciating that beauty.
King’s Daughters Home for Incurables features a few members of a band that Kane performs with known as the Corner Laughers. The baroque-pop arrangements feature banjos, mandolins, and dazzling harmonies. This album is a perfect antidote against an ever-creeping cynicism that seems to advance every day over the muck of social media. These are songs that sound so warm and pastoral that they’ll all but transport you right there to the foot of the oak tree, back in California.