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Bliss on a sunny Saturday 

Feral Bliss as part of free shows at the Main Stage Festival Tent – 2pm, Saturday July 14th, 2007

The city has just suffered through one of its long and dreary spells of fog, rain and grey. In the second straight clear day (!), the rays feel that much warmer, the breeze that much gentler when the sun finally comes out to stay. And when you take in an hour of Feral Bliss.

Dressed in white pumps, hair pinned up in the back and wearing a brown collared summer dress with a colourful print, she embodied the feel of the day: languid, dreamy, luxuriant.

With her rich voice falling somewhere between the upper tenor to alto range, she created and maintained the mood, the way Sade and Ivana Santilli have done. Still, at times she seemed a little tentative. You wanted her to step up and loosen up. Because she can do just that and she can do it well: tracks from her White Noise Intermission are up on her MySpace page. Though pleasant in this performance “Can’t Shake My Dream,” for example, has greater impact on record.

On percussion in this outfit, fellow Live Village Records alumnus Dammien Alexander also harmonized well with Feral Bliss. He dropped a few rhymes and played crowd-stoker too.

The band’s rhythm was smooth, soothing, like the breeze that started to cool the onlookers, which did work against them midway through the set. A change in tempo would’ve worked earlier instead of spiking at the end. And with electric piano and guitar, Mike Cowie’s trumpet sometimes seemed to clutter the sound.

Whether singing or rhyming (she does both), Feral Bliss is figuring out what makes the good – the happy – life. From dreams to relationships to the state of the world, these are songs in the order of Erykah Badu, Jill Stone and occasionally Ursula Rucker.

The artist moved to Halifax from Toronto in 2002 – our gain for sure. Feral Bliss can likely do a lot with a longer set, a show of her own. Best to check her out.

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