Famed vocalist Aimee-Jo Benoit’s newest release featuring Trio Velocity can be described as “an album of loosely arranged… tunes closest to the heart of the [artist’s] musical journey.” The tracks are a collection of songs written by renowned musicians from various corners of the musical universe, ranging from Kurt Cobain to Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. Benoit’s unique soft-yet-defined timbre combined with instrumentation featuring upright bass, drums and piano enables these arrangements to have an interesting and refreshing twist. Each track has its own story to tell and the vocalist herself expresses her love of storytelling by “using a variety of vocal techniques to convey the narrative inherent in [each] song.”
Benoit’s interpretation of Cobain’s All Apologies stands out for highlighting the main recognizable riff while replacing the melancholic tone of the original song with a much more positive one through the use of Sheldon Zandboer’s soft and melodic piano theme. This Flight Tonight is an energetic and pleasing interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s classic tune carried forward by Simon Fisk on bass and Robin Tufts on drums, within which you can hear hints of Mitchell’s timbre peeking through in Benoit’s vocal styling while she still makes the tune completely her own. For those in search of a refreshing take on modern classics with just the right amount of character mixed in, this album is a perfect listen.