Steph Cameron - "That's What Love Is" (Pheromone): It remains something of a mystery that this folk singer/songwriter hasn't made more of a mark. Her 2014 debut, Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady, was a bracingly fresh take on the genre, and her second album, Daybreak Over Jackson Street, showcased her progress as a songwriter.
"That's What Love Is" is an undeniable highlight of that consistently strong record. Cameron's voice, a tad reminiscent of early Joni Mitchell, is clear and pure, while her skill as a fluent acoustic guitarist is also in evidence. Her circling guitar figures are quite mesmerizing, and her lyrics are equally compelling. Sample: "late at night when the coyotes call, the dogs whimper and the leaves fall."
In a press release, Cameron explains that the song "describes some of the loneliness we can feel in spite of the deep connections we have with those we love. It describes the heart like an empty room that waits longingly for the one it loves to walk through its doors and give the room meaning.”
As with the debut, Daybreak Over Jackson Street was recorded to tape with producer Joe Dunphy at Toronto studio Revolution Recording, and the sound has a sparse clarity confirming that less can be more.
Cameron has now begun a string of western dates that include a show at Winnipeg's WECC tonight (Oct. 4) and close at Regina's Artesian on Nov. 11. A full schedule here.