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Album Review: Through Train Windows | Norine Braun

There are some things all Canadians have in common, regardless of which province you're from. Usually, this includes a shared hatred of long Tim Hortons’ lines and the perpetual use of winter tires. When it comes to Vancouver singer and songwriter Norine Braun though, the essence of Canada and its vast landscapes can be understood on a level that transcends any form of capitalist symbols.

Braun’s newest release Through Train Windows is modelled and inspired after her 6,000 kilometre trek from Vancouver to Halifax via train. Taking in everything from the prairies to the Rockies, Braun eloquently documents the feelings that come along with watching the moving country side out the window. It’s a feeling that is likely one hundred times more powerful than the already euphoric feeling of looking out a car window with your headphones in.

With a soft acoustic, gentle harmonica and Braun’s powerful voice, every track on Through Train Windows has the uncanny ability to make you nostalgic for places you’ve never been. It also immediately makes you yearn for home, even if you’re physically already there.

The sense of connectedness among Canadians (and dwellers of all cold places, really) shines in the sixth track, “Heading Up North.” With the lyrics "Packed my long johns / Got a wool toque / Winter shades / Grandma’s duvet with her brocade / Guaranteed to keep warm / Heading up north / Before the ice storms close the way” is a verse that anyone who has ever witnessed winter can relate to. Whether it’s a full-on cross-country journey or just trying to shovel your way out of your driveway before the roads get too bad to drive, Braun presents a full album of ballads for anyone who has any desire to keep moving.

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