Review – Martin Kerr

Album: Better Than Brand-New
Release date: June 30, 2017
Genre: Folk

Expressive. Singular. Close-to-home.—All descriptors of Edmonton-based Martin Kerr’s newest album, Better Than Brand-New. U.K-born and Canadian-raised, Kerr is sinking his teeth into the personal side of songwriting, each of his twelve tracks reveling in their sheer demonstrativeness.

That’s not to say that Better Than Brand-New is without its catchiness, however; its first track, a song of the same name, has a consistent bop to it, all hard edges sanded off to create a soft, easy summertime listen. Complete with Kerr’s downy vocals and a hopeful tinge to the background instrumentals, “Better Than Brand-New” sets up the tone of the remainder of the album whilst still leaving room for audiences to be pleasantly surprised.

Early-album track “Little Screens” plays on these expectations: not dissimilar to the ever-popular, ever-positive Andy Grammer, Kerr spins out a song that’s the musical equivalent of throwing your hands up at the apex of a rollercoaster. Carefree, replayable, and toe-tappingly irresistible, Kerr mixes the personal with the radio-worthy, and the result is a track that would be hard-pressed not to put anyone in a better mood.

Heartening to a T, Martin Kerr’s Better Than Brand-New will easily find a place on any Canadian’s summertime music shelf.

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