Needle Drop: Dinah Thorpe, “Can I see what’s in your backpack?”

The enigmatic Dinah Thorpe has drawn comparisons to everyone from Fiest to Nina Simone over the course of her 5 year career. Her newest offering, Lullabies and Wake-Up Calls, presents her sultry take on a few classics while showcasing her idiosyncratic songwriting.

Thorpe plays multiple stylistic roles on the album; from the vocalist whose stunning alto bathes the listener in tranquility, to the activist who uses her anti-establishment flow to dissect everything from traffic congestion to animal abuse. She imbues her tales of suburban plight with an unflinching conviction for a cleaner, greener, more politically astute Earth. There is, for instance, no question in her mind that bicycles are the future of transportation and schools are brainwashing our kids.

Dinah gives her incredible voice a few breaks on the album and uses the free space to drop spoken-word raps about the unfortunate state of things. The brilliant “Can I see what’s in your backpack?” sets its sight on the unceasing momentum of the Western world. As she rolls off couplets like “It’s time to dismantle the internet, now that it’s the only thing that tantalizes their intellect,” one can’t help but ponder the unfortunate side effects of the kids growing up in our iPhone infatuated culture.

Lullabies and Wake-Up Calls has been nominated for a Juno Award for Recording Package of the Year. Results will be in next week.

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