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Karla Kane

“All aboard -- all you souls in need of saving, all you roads in need of paving, all aboard. Gather ‘round -- all you hearts in need of breaking, all you Earths in need of quaking, gather ‘round."

Karla Kane’s debut solo album, “King’s Daughters Home for Incurables,” leads listeners into an intriguing land of acorns and tea leaves; feminism and fairy tales; pagan pop and pastoral protest songs; whimsical wanderings and sharp observations on the current state of the world. It’s a place for chronic worriers, hopeless romantics, Anglophiles, patriarchy smashers and gentle dreamers, where sunny California indie meets melancholy English folk and the redwood meets the oak.

The first solo release from the singer/songwriter/uke player of The Corner Laughers, the creation of this enchanting acoustic collection was inspired partly by the tours of England she’s undertaken over the past few years. Recorded over a few weeks at home, rather than in a studio with a producer, the album is Kane at her most independent and intimate, with sweet vocals and songwriting at the forefront. Themes include anxious thoughts on motherhood and the passing of time, the search for “home,” and a deep desire to summon optimism and hope in a dark world.

Many of the songs were written under the shade of a beloved oak tree in Kane’s California backyard. Armed with a laptop, her ukulele and a single microphone, she recorded them, usually in the evening, after her young daughter was tucked into bed.

But the simplicity of the set-up doesn’t mean the album is short on sonic riches. Though it has DIY, backyard-pop roots, the album expands its scope from the micro to the macro level. Woven into to many of the songs are the astonishing nature recordings of Richard Youell, which bring the sounds of the English countryside (buzzing beehives, dawn choruses, rainstorms) alive in harmony with Kane’s music. And though it’s officially a solo album, “King’s Daughters Home For Incurables” includes a number of notable guest appearances from England and beyond, including Kane’s songwriting hero Martin Newell (Cleaners from Venus), who contributes vocals and poetry to “Wishing Tree.” The songs are already accumulating BBC airplay and critical accolades, with Bitch Media calling one “an anti-lullaby for the Trump era.”

Concerned Corner Laughers fans, take heart. All three of Kane’s fellow band members appear here, with husband/bandmate Khoi Huynh taking on co-producer duties as well accompanying her on most songs on a variety of instruments (including on two remakes of Corner Laughers works). Listeners familiar with Kane’s previous catalogue will recognize the clever, literate lyric style, and ethereal melodies and harmonies highlighted in her new, folk-inflected direction.

Everyone, at some point, feels like an “incurable” in search of a home. With Kane’s new album, listeners are invited to share in the mix of beauty and confusion in which we all find ourselves in these times. All aboard.

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“Kane’s conversational vocal tone and her storytelling chops are reminiscent of The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle. Musically, though, their bright harmonies make them sound a lot more like Belle & Sebastian with a little more jangle and a little more twang." [8/4/15]

Jess Kibler, Bitch Media

“Midsommar by California’s The Corner Laughers’ combines country-inspired instrumentation with sparky, upbeat vocals and the kind of intricate, detailed pop arrangements that recall Sixpence None The Richer. There’s something of a US Kirsty McColl to the vocals and it would take a more cynical man than I to deny the pomp and circumstance of the Pumpkins-esque guitar solo that smashes through the track in the mid-section. There are ukuleles, there are strings and, more’s the shame, this is the exact kind of track where a big producer would sweep in and tell the band that there’s ‘too much going on’ for radio. But for the people with the attention-span to listen to music beyond a drum beat and a vocal in a car on a motorway this is rousing, visionary, adult pop.”

Barney - Fresh On The Net

"The Corner Laughers are a Californian band who come across like a West Coast Belle and Sebastian. Their indie pop is sassy and smart, intelligent and intricate, twee with bite." [3/30/15]

The Guardian

“Smart, bubbly pop ... The Corner Laughers' Ultraviolet Garden cuts studs its sugary hooks with quiz bowl vocabulary and surreal imagery. The tunes are airy, breezy and laced with unexpected lyrical twists ... Their second album, produced by the Orange Peels' Allen Clapp, puts a 1960s sheen onto conflicted, ebullient and intricately intelligent girl pop. All these songs are bright, sardonic, and without a trace of self pity, bouncing along on unstoppable beats and irresistible girls-rule harmonies. ”

Blurt Magazine

"'Fairytale Tourist' is a jumpy, twangy pop track with impressive use of a ukulele. As busy as this song can get, it doesn’t fail to stick with the laid-back formula the Corner Laughers center their music around." [3/18/15]

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Karla Kane -- "Don't Hush, Darling" (music video)

Karla Kane's video for "Don't Hush, Darling" features dancer/choreographer Tara Pandeya and contains an important message for all mothers to their daughters.

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