Review – Charlotte Cornfield

Album: In My Corner
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Genre: Indie folk

In My Corner is the latest release from Toronto-based singer-songwriter, Charlotte Cornfield. This four-track EP, featuring two cover songs and two originals, is a brief, but meditative escape. The record plays in an area of open space that allows Cornfield’s honest, candid lyrics to effectively weave together very thoughtful and emotional ideas into a pair of highly impactful original songs. The two covers on the album also fit well with the tone of the entire work and are quite well-executed.

The record opens with the title track, “In My Corner”. What is immediately striking about this song is the approach to its production. Cornfield’s voice stands at the forefront of the recording in such a way that it almost sounds like she’s standing across from you, having this conversation with you. This effect pairs well with her run-on, almost spoken-word approach to her vocal delivery that gives the song the very personal feeling that the lyrics attempt to evoke. It’s the spacious instrumentation that gives this track the adequate room to breathe – for Cornfield to fill that space with her presence. The record’s two cover tracks come next: “Fruits of My Labor” by Lucinda Williams, and “You Can Have It All” by George McCrae and famously covered by Yo La Tengo. While they in no way take away from the album overall, it feels like a missed opportunity to show off more of Cornfield’s strong and highly unique songwriting abilities. But then again, it could be argued that an EP release is exactly the right time to try out a couple of covers. Maybe it’s better to look to Cornfield’s past releases for example, instead of dwelling on what could have been done on this comparatively small release. The record closes on “Upstate”, an intimate performance featuring Cornfield on piano, singing about love, in a stripped-down ballad that continues to highlight her endlessly charming, sometimes rhyming, sometimes not, vocal style and vast musical ability.

In My Corner is a short, serene, escape of an album. If maybe there are no big challenges to be found here, this record is nonetheless a well-executed and very tasteful demonstration of spacious and thoughtful music, rooted in care and experience.

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