The Hand That Fits The Glove by Faith Healer album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


The Hand That Fits The Glove

Faith Healer

“So tired of playing the game,” Jessica Jalbert, the singing half of the Canadian band, Faith Healer, starts off their new album, The Hand That Fits The Glove, out Friday on Mint Records Inc. Alongside producer and multi-instrumentalist, Renny Wilson, and a slew of faithfuls in the Canadian indie scene, they offer a sideways glance at life and a more subdued but perhaps more mature, cooler musical palette.

“I’m not talking about you / I mean another fool,” Jalbert says tongue in cheek, towards the beginning of the album, incriminating us all in the mess that the world has become. There are songs that are self-aware (and even self-censorious, in a way), like “I’m A Dog”: “I hate the hand that feeds me / I bite the food uneasy / I’m a dog / You can try.” There are songs that look into the often untenable dynamics of relationships (despite our need for human companionship), like “Green Velvet” (“Fight till we hurt each other badly / I guess that’s why we love each other madly”,) and “Stranger,” (“And it’s not about being in love / And it’s not about being in danger / It’s about being held / By a stranger.”

The centerpiece of the album, the title track, questions why we continue to fight (or box), when “The glove is only moving / If the hand is still inside,” a sentiment that asks us why we fight in the same old ways, when we can choose another path. The music on the album is lush—sometimes disco-ey like they’ve offered before, sometimes slowed down in service of the song. But it’s really the puzzly lyrics of the album that steal the show. It shows not only a world weariness, but a hard-won wisdom, that demand a second, a third, a fourth look at the situation at hand, or a second, a third, a fourth listen to a complicated and generous album of music, as the case might be.

“I’m not just rolling it slow up a hill / I’m not just rolling a stone,” Jalbert sings on the song, “Grind,” alluding to the myth of Sisyphus. Perhaps it is her way to communicate that our struggle to understand is not a meaningless chore like Sisyphus’, but something of import, and that we can get somewhere by struggling to know ourselves, others, and the way that the world works. “Taking my notes and eating them over and over again,” she sings in the same song.

As the write-up for this record states, they are not overplaying their hand, however, but playing it cool, and the music, which is a step in the less flashy direction, and the lyrics which are full of careful construction and attention to detail, make this an album with depth and staying power. They’ve been compared to the Cardigans in the past, with their knack for pop goodness, but this album, more of a concept album, demands an attention in sound and lyrics that pop listeners may not have, and it’s all the better for it.

Order The Hand That Fits The Glove by Faith Healer HERE


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