New Music: Carmel Mikol’s ‘Daughter Of A Working Man’

Carmel Mikol’s ‘Daughter Of A Working Man’ is eclectic in the way that only the Maritimes can be. Waves of modern folk-pop and electronica crash into the shores of Cape Breton’s traditional fiddle music and sea shanties to make Mikol’s unique sound.

Although the East Coast is made of numerous cultures and histories, they’re all tied together by our physical geography and Daughter of a Working Man is no different; despite the different sounds on each track, they are all connected by Mikol’s lyrics that tell the stories of her home.

Mikol is an excellent storyteller, depicting tales of sorrow, poverty, longing, and heartbreak. Each song plays like a soundtrack to a captivating film. She also has a commanding presence with her ability to get listeners fully immersed in protest anthem ‘Hold’ in spite of its placement between two gut wrenching ballads.

The titular track, ‘Daughter Of A Working Man’” is a strong and jarring way to begin the album. Mikol’s dark, lingering voice paired with heavy percussion create an ominous atmosphere akin to a hurricane. The electronic elements of this song give it an almost apocalyptic feel. My only complaint is that the rest of the album doesn’t sound like this track, but Mikol is certainly no one trick pony.

I cannot stress the diversity of this album enough. There is something for almost all musical tastes on ‘Daughter Of A Working Man’, be it the country sound of ‘Cape Breton Child’ or the rock ballad ‘Caroline’. Albums that span a vast range of genres can sometimes come off as a weak, desperate attempt to appeal to everyone. Mikol is one of the few who pulls it off excellently. She is fantastic no matter the genre. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t enjoy at least one song off this album.

The test of any good song is how likely I am to sing it after listening. This album has staying power. I found myself singing numerous tracks throughout the days it took to review this album. Mikol’s lyrics are profound and colourful, capable of leaving a lasting impact not just on my daily repertoire, but on the whole East Coast music scene.