Last year, we discovered the music of Orillia, ON duo Steve and Marni Van Kessel (collectively called ‘VK’), whose sophomore album “Terms and Conditions” quickly became a firm favorite here at GDW. Whilst firmly rooted in the Americana-Folk music genre, the additional rock and country influences injected into their sound makes the music of VK both incredibly original, and always enjoyable to hear. My recollections of this 2017 album invite fond memories of their stunning vocals, where Marni’s harmonies provide a soothing accompaniment to Steve’s powerful expressions of lost love and pain. It’s so easy to reminisce about the constant duels between fiddles and organs, always competing for attention, and the blasts of harmonica or pedal steel adding emotional depth at all of the right moments, making this a memorable album in the process.
Many of us may be excited about the prospect that summer is only a couple of weeks away, but for Steve and Marni Van Kessel, summer truly comes early today with the release of their brand new single, “What Tomorrow Will Bring.” Picking up where “Terms and Conditions” left off, both the artist and listener are reunited once more for a cozy ‘cottage-country’ get-together, allowing us to savor some well crafted lyrics, careful instrumentation choices, and vocal excellence from this husband and wife team once more. Great news indeed, but for those who crave more, fear not!!! “What Tomorrow Will Bring” is the first of many new compositions, which shall appear on VK’s upcoming third full-length album, “Charm.” Slated for release on Friday 5 July, the album shall coincidentally be celebrated by VK & Legends of THE DEEP during their appearance at the Mariposa Folk Festival. Anybody with tickets to Mariposa this year, do not miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this unique performance; and be forever envied by GDW who cannot be there this time around.
Organs and guitars set an early tone to introduce “What Tomorrow Will Bring,” before yielding to a slow, simmering alt-country number that allow both vocalists to duet beautifully. Drawing upon the musical influences of their peers, the single perfectly fuses the pace of The Cowboy Junkies with the lyrical mastery and big band sound of both The Skydiggers and Blue Rodeo. VK may have stayed outside of our musical radar for a while now, but just one spin of this single, and we’re back to that moment when “Terms and Conditions” was spun many more times that I really should confess to. This single offers a reunion of sorts between artist and listener; where estranged friends reconnect over a coffee, and the joys of escapism take precedence, like being totally lost in a good book or simply at peace with the world. “What Tomorrow Will Bring” ebbs and flows beautifully for a full 4:44 run time, painting a deeply moving and personal tale along the way from our friends in Orillia, ON, and whetting our appetites for much more next month when “Charm” is set free.