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Big Boy EP

I first heard Mon­treal singer Char­lotte Cardin when she swung by Toronto’s the Gar­ri­son for Cana­dian Mu­sic Week ear­lier this year — and I was floored. The cen­tre­piece of that set was one of the few songs she’d recorded and re­leased, and it was the rea­son I at­tended the set. “Like It Doesn’t Hurt” is a mas­ter­ful dis­play of song­writ­ing, with a melody so per­fect that the track re­quires lit­tle else but elec­tronic claps, jazzy, Rhodestype key­board and a sub­tle, re­verse­ef­fect synth. Live, just as on record, Cardin’s smoky, bil­low­ing voice sounded ef­fort­less but hung thick in the air, and the sparse in­stru­men­ta­tion gave her plenty of space to fill with it. “Like It Doesn’t Hurt” is the best song on Cardin’s de­but EP, Big Boy, but there are plenty here that com­pare. “Dirty Dirty” comes clos­est, a bluesy, lovelorn tune that evokes Amy Wine­house while float­ing ef­fort­lessly be­tween her head and chest voice in the song’s cho­rus. The two French-lan­guage songs here are par­tic­u­larly strong, as well: the pre­vi­ously avail­able “Les Échardes” has a bouncy lilt that plays up its French flair, while sin­gle “Fau­file,” a pow­er­ful, straight­for­ward bal­lad, ends the EP on a som­bre but strong note. Iron­i­cally, it’s the ti­tle track

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