Juno award winning singer-songwriter-guitarist extraordinaire Cara Luft is that rare artist steeped in folk and traditional roots music almost from birth, yet willing to alter the fabric, stretch the boundaries and fearlessly bend genres and styles. Her much-anticipated third solo album, Darlingford, is a stunning new collection of songs drawn from her recent life experiences and informed throughout with her indomitably optimistic spirit and impeccable musical instincts. Recorded primarily in old wooden churches and home studios across the Canadian prairies, the album shines a bright light on Cara’s skill at turning personal heartbreak into universal themes that resonate deeply with listeners. Darlingford is a musically profound, undeniably rich example of life informing art.
Folk heroine Luft deserves her solid reputation as one of Canada’s finest live performers whose engaging, down-home style comes wrapped in a warm and delicious sense of humour. A co-founder of folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, Cara was the spark behind the group. Her spirit and innate musicianship were instrumental in their rise to the forefront of the North American roots music scene. Since leaving the trio, Luft has wowed audiences and critics across North America and Europe with her performances.
Her critically acclaimed album The Light Fantastic, recorded following her departure from The Jennys, drew praise from across North America, Europe and the UK. Wildy’s World proclaimed, “you don’t want to be without this disc.” Americana UK declared her “a consummate performer.” Popmatters.com noted, “Cara’s warm alto vocals are sinfully sweet,” and added, “Luft is the perfect blend of lightness and gutsy rock chick.” The response to Darlingford is even stronger. The Globe & Mail stated “it can’t be done, so don’t even try to turn away from the affecting insistence of Luft,” while Beatroute Magazine called the disc “the strongest and most interesting release that Luft has put out yet, either as a member of the Wailin’ Jenny’s or as a solo performer.” No Depression raved about the album, saying “Cara knocks our socks off with her best recorded work to date,” calling her “a formidable songwriter and performer, setting the bar for the talented few who’ll follow in her footsteps.” Cover Lay Down declared the disc “a tour de force of contemporary folk.” The American blog Adobe and Teardrops wrote, “Darlingford really is that excellent,” with only one complaint: that Cara was Canadian and not American, stating “we can’t claim her as a national treasure.”
Darlingford took the top Canadian album spot on the international FolkDJ playlists for the summer of 2013, with Cara capturing the #1 Canadian top artist spot. She was a semi-finalist in both the International Songwriting Competition and the Unsigned Only Competition, and won the Galaxie Rising Star award.
Luft is clearly at home on the stage, and invites audiences into her world with a rare and endlessly appealing confidence and humility. Reviewers of Cara’s live shows talk about her superb musicianship, her humourous anecdotes, her ability to switch between styles, her accomplished songwriting, and the charm of her stage presence. Cara’s the real deal, there’s nothing pretentious about her. And that sense of honesty, integrity, personality and spontaneity permeates both her music and her live shows. “Long may she reign!” (Lonesome Highway)