Sarah vs. Sarah

Canada has no shortage of talented chanteuses.  I was interested to hear that both Sarah McLachlan and Sarah Harmer had recently released new albums and I had the sudden urge to pit them against one another.  So this is the Sarah vs. Sarah cage match.  Listen to both releases below and decide for yourself who will be Canada’s last Sarah standing.

Personally, I think Sarah McLachlan has the advantage here.  From her early contributions to Vancouver-based. elctro-industrial band Skinny Puppy, to her 90s fem-a-polooza Lilith Fair, McLachlan has certainly made her mark both in Canada and internationally.  She is also involved in many charitable causes including rights for animals.  She has no trouble getting support, resources, or talent to help her along.

Sarah Harmer, on the other hand, broke out with the fairly obscure Kingston band, Weeping Tile, but is best known for her solo work.  Her last four albums struck a chord with Ontarians but never really sounded outside of Canada.  Her activism is as passionate as McLachlan’s but perhaps on a less public scale.

At the risk of influencing your decision, I have to give it to Sarah Harmer.  Aside from the fact that I am a sucker for any underdog, I think that Harmer stretches further this time.  Perhaps McLachlan is catering to her established audience, but to me she is singing the same old, same old.  Harmer is pushing herself into a new realm and bravely experimenting.  I expect that I will hear many more tracks from Mclachlan’s new album, but I am looking forward to listening to more of Sarah Harmer.

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