The Karpinka Brothers – You Can Count On Me RELEASED TODAY!
by: Craig Silliphant
I once wrote that The Karpinka Brothers were, “the glowing, thumping heart of the Saskatoon music scene,” and those words still stand. You Can Count On Me is the third full-length album from the brothers, and as always, it’s a deeply earnest and buoyant collection of songs. In fact, their music would seem somewhat ironic if you didn’t know that they really do mean every word and every note. They’re likable and generous guys (they volunteer regularly to perform at a local long-term care home), and their music sounds like, well, like them.
Following in the footsteps of other harmonizing brotherly musical luminaries, The K-Bros are sometimes twangy like The Louvin Brothers and sometimes dreamy like The Everly Brothers. While retaining those classic sounds, they have leaned into an ever-so-slightly more modern swagger, like a band that has fallen out of time from the 50s or 60s to land here, taking on the quirks of more contemporary artists like say, Joel Plaskett or Daniel Johnston. Though there’s not distortion or feedback or anything, a few of the tracks have licks or bounce that go beyond a stock music reference like ‘upbeat’ into the realm of, ‘hey, this shit kinda rocks!’ The lyrics are generally joyful and positive, but even when they’re skirting around the edges of heartbreak and life’s setbacks, they still feel like they’re flying a bright flag of optimism.
Here’s the thing; The Karpinka Brothers are a strange contradiction that may throw more cynical listeners, but their sunny music is quite infectious. Anyone can go out and try and sound like some cool indie rock band with a howling, writhing Iggy Pop wannabe singer, but it takes real guts to go and sound like yourself. The Karpinka Brothers are building a foundation of popularity on that idea, as well as the notion that their hearts are true, which radiates from their music in spades.