Kate & Anna McGarrigle, from 1975, is a singer-songwriter session up there with Joni Mitchell's Blue and Neil Young's Harvest, though unlike either in style (or sales). Funny and heartbreaking, informed by French-Canadian parlor songs and delicious harmonies, it's idiosyncratically perfect. This reissue pairs it with 1977's nearly-as-great Dancer With Bruised Knees, adding a beautiful disc of demos and other flotsam. "Skidmore girls come back to town/All the freaks head underground," sings the late Kate on the unreleased "Saratoga Summer Song," a slice of life from a woman who saw the sublime and the absurd as kissing cousins.
From The Archives Issue 1130: May 12, 2011