Canada’s indie-folk singer-songwriter Claire Coupland introduces “The Flame,” a delicious appetizer from her upcoming sophomore album, New Light, set to release in 2023.
While isolated in the midst of the pandemic, Coupland found herself delving into her imagination, where quiescent stories and ideas lie latent, songs about hope, love, painful partings, delicate family dynamics, and self-worth. Exhuming them, she developed them into a collection of beautiful compositions.
“The Flame,” along with New Light, was produced by JUNO-winner Sam Weber and features the talents of Garrett Lang (bass), Lee Pardini (piano, keyboards), Griffin Goldsmith (drums, percussion), Sam Weber (electric guitar), and Claire Coupland (vocals, acoustic guitar).
A song about temptation, the lyrics of “The Flame” ooze with the pleasure and risk of desire, suggesting an elusive eroticism resting atop a powder keg of longing waiting to explode.
“Things that I never thought I’d do / Ways that I’m bending my own rules / Yeah this could hurt me / Long as I burn with you / Games, the games we play / I should turn the other way / But I wanna touch the flame.”
Perhaps it’s the sensuous flow of the music, or Coupland’s simmering voice, dripping with alluring savors, but for some reason “The Flame” conjures up memories of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games,” at once tantalizing and smoldering with an underlying passion. Of course, the two songs are totally dissimilar except for the sensations they provoke.
“The Flame” rolls out on low-slung, seductive tones, flowing into a mid-tempo rhythm full of enticing throbs. Undulating guitars create vibrant tension between internal thoughts and physical response, imbuing the tune with residual tingling flavors.
The highlight is Coupland’s lusciously subtle voice, graceful yet voluptuously languorous, revealing tiny hooks of deepening yearning.
With its beguiling rhythm and slinky, tip-toeing motion, “The Flame” offers cap-a-pie sonic gesticulations of stylish erotica.