“Corners” marks a new stylistic direction for Paula Eve Kirman
Paula Eve Kirman has a reputation – rightfully earned – as a folky who performs original songs, often about social justice issues. While themes of social justice continue on her new album, she has turned a “corner” when it comes to musical genres.
Corners, Kirman’s second full-length album of lyrically-driven songs marks a musical departure. The songs feature fuller arrangements and a harder edge venturing into rock and blues. At the same time, her songs remain lyric-driven and meaningful.
Kicking off with the anthemic “Marching in the Street,” Kirman sets the stage with one of her iconic protest songs she has been performing in Edmonton and area for almost 20 years. The punk-fuelled “Won’t Let You In,” featuring swaggering guitar work by Paul Steffes. “Lost in Dreams,” and “Outside of Love” address personal empowerment in relationships.
“And You Run” is the closest to a slow song on the album, and is about someone getting caught in a cycle of addiction and abuse. “I Wait for Winter” is about desire, set to an alt-rock/pop swirling atmosphere. The folk-rock “Falling” features Kirman on mandolin, and is about longing for lost love. “The Ghost in the Alley” is a ballad about the need for housing first, and the roadblocks created by NIMBY-ism. The album concludes with the wistful and bluesy “Return,” a song about identity and belonging written after the death of Kirman’s mother in 2019.
Kirman began recording the songs at her home studio during the early days of pandemic restrictions. Corners was co-produced by John Armstrong, who also co-produced Kirman’s previous album The Crow, released in late 2022, a project she began in 2019 with the late Bill Bourne. Kirman and Armstrong spent an intense year working on the tracks for both albums at the same time.
Corners is available on Bandcamp (https://paulaevekirman.bandcamp.com/album/corners) and streaming services. Physical copies will soon be available at select retail outlets.