Christa Couture’s EP Safe Harbour is anything but safe: the daring six-track release is full of risks, both lyrically and sonically. It’s an honest, entertaining journey that reflects a mature artist’s breadth of experience.
Safe Harbour is Couture’s followup to her critically acclaimed 2016 album Long Time Leaving; the gap between albums has allowed the artist to grow. The music has a topsy-turvy, almost theatrical quality that is refreshing to hear, while the lyrics are poignant and unconventional. While she demonstrates her ability to deliver soft, pleasant vocals, her delivery is, at times, sharp, prioritizing clarity over euphony — rather than lull her listeners into submission, Couture shakes us awake, demanding our attention. “Sit up and listen,” she tells us, and gladly, we obey.
The EP is surprisingly versatile, given its short length. Despite the variety of styles here, there is an undercurrent of outrage embedded in all of the songs, tying them together. This is most detectible in “Far, Far Light of the Stars.” That anger is infectious in the best possible way: her quiet quip, “Don’t tell me to calm down, settler” rings true in a manner Taylor Swift’s similar imperative never could.
At just six tracks in total, the 18-minute-long album feels like it’s over too soon; however, as far as criticism goes, this is a minor complaint. After all, as the old theatre adage goes, “always leave them wanting more.” This EP certainly accomplishes that feat. (Coax)