The O’Pears – Our Own – Canadian female folk singers renew Andrews Sisters sound

The O’Pears are a band for people that miss the golden age of female vocalists. All with a seeming golden set of vocal chords, these young ladies know harmony better than their years might elude. Sounding like the Andrews Sister of a bygone era, these girls can sing. Providing a fresh new take on an old fashioned singing style, they bring sass and sweetness to what might seem like an outdated style. (By the way, the reference to “au pair” was not lost on us either. Clever, gals, clever.)

The opener, “Golden Boy” is about a lucky guy who has earned the respect of one of these ladies. He’s a man living a life worthy of the affection of their harmonies. The building chord that forms the core of the chorus is incredible. “Good company… need good company…” shows a clear love song affect with a desire to be with the golden boy. Nicely done.

Sounding a bit like the iconic Celtic Woman, the intricate vocal blending of the seemingly angelic three vocalists in The O’Pears, the acapella second track “Have a Heart” might just be the band’s best performance on the album. There’s almost a sacred quality to the construction of the harmonies. “My arms won’t move but for you… across the sea they’d stretch… I’m a wreck aching for your arms and mine.” It’s romantic, sweet, and very sincere. The second half of the song includes some percussion and a bit more optimistic a tone. There’s a hope to being together, which comes through both in the lyrics and the music. It’s a great song.

Reminding me a bit of The Staves, these young ladies can really put together some tight harmonies. The nostalgic “Thirteen” highlights the time of life when we’re all uncertain in middle school. But what the girls do here that makes the song so effective is that they connect listeners with that old feeling of rebellion. With reference to “Paint It Black” and being “an outlaw for my love,” it’s clearly a song rooted in a relationship with a bad boy from years past. It resonates so well.

“Liquor” is a seemingly traditional song about a solid relationship. It’s about a couple that doesn’t fight much because they communicate really well. The imagery is almost as sweet as the harmonies. Almost. The closer “Dinah” takes on a much more country vibe than the rest of the album. The banjo takes on a prominent role, encouraging a good ole “dosey doh” at the barn dance. The creative riff off of “Dinah” from the classic “I’ll be workin’ on the railroad” is cute. The harmonies bring ole Dinah to life, “wishin’ for your own true love but scared to let it show.”

These are some seriously good songs. I see this band really taking off as a multigenerational hit similar to acts like The High Kings in Ireland, or even Straight No Chaser here in the States. They’re that kind of phenomenal in terms of music and performance. This is the kind of album you can put on for your friends at an indie music swap, or have it as background music for your parents’ visit. It’s delightful, smile-inducing, and the picture of joy. It’s too good to miss. Melt into the beautiful harmonies of The O’Pears.

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