When We Were Spies
When going for drama, Edmontonian Vriend has a voice that can tingle your spine and excite your dog. She’ll stick to moderate notes for the bulk of a song before reaching for the sky, then be ready. On a catchy number like “Start Over” the range is just right. A cheerful “da-da-da” is the ideal softening for a lecturing love song. The lush “Radio,” all cascading keys and plodding drums, builds to peaks reminiscent of Kate Bush being squeezed by her leg warmers. The arrangements are elaborate, often more alluring than the words, which tend to explore secrecy in relationships. The album could be titled What Are You Thinking?