The Simple Life

The Darkness PlayStation Xbox 360 Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M (for Mature)
Score: 6 (out of 10)
Unlike many of her fellow Canadians, singer-songwriter Angela Desveaux doesn’t need the backup of dozens of musicians. Her debut CD, Wandering Eyes, is a stripped-down alt-country charmer that’s oceans away from other studio-stuffing Canucks. This even though the album was guided by Howard Bilerman, the Arcade Fire’s former drummer. “He didn’t force me to go into any one direction,” says Desveaux. “I actually wanted to do something more commercial, but he pushed me to do something not so polished.”

Desveaux -- who makes her Cleveland debut tonight at the Beachland Tavern -- grew up near Montreal. She says her surroundings had a hefty impact on her. “That’s where my music developed. My parents listened to mostly country music. Whatever kind of music I later explored, my songs would always naturally go in a country direction.”

The 10 songs on Wandering Eyes reflect those childhood influences: Traces of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Son Volt flow through the melodies. “I didn’t want it to be something I’m not,” she says. “That’s why my lyrics are very straightforward. I just say what comes right away. That works, because in country, people can relate to that more. And that’s the way I listen to music. I’m always looking for the catchy chorus.”

Still, it’s her everyday life, she says, that influences her songwriting the most. The occasionally aching, sometimes celebratory Wandering Eyes ruminates on friends, family, and lovers. “My songs are usually about some guy who pissed me off,” Desveaux says with a laugh. “I just spit things out in one night. It may come out with some aggression or ignorance, but that’s the way I feel when I write it.”
Fri., Dec. 15, 9 p.m.

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