Last yr, Washington-based musician Phil Everum (below his stage title Mount Erie) launched A Crow Looked At Me, an album concerning the current demise of his spouse from most cancers. Performed so hushed, it wrenches, but comforts the soul.
Abysskiss, the most recent solo album by Adrianne Lenker, the vocalist/songwriter of the Brooklyn quartet, Big Thief, is imbued with an analogous solitude. It is made with absolute confidence.
Recorded in per week, the songs breathe as lived-in spirits, lastly aired after many years of silence. They take time to floor after you have gained their belief. They don’t discuss down or up. They don’t essentially wish to socialise or make you empathise. They imagine in you in the event you imagine in your self.
That is the metier of those unremittingly sincere confessions.
The opening observe, Terminal Paradise, is sung from the angle of somebody who is dying. “We both know/Let the rest of me go/See my death become a trail/And the trail leads to a flower,” she sings softly, however with steely assurance.
The music is a mellifluous braiding of strumming, a peppering of piano ivories and a synth line that turns into clearer on the finish.
The outcomes soothe and elucidate. Complex feelings are wrapped up in ballads that don’t sugarcoat, however as an alternative ship laborious truths gently.
Adrianne Lenker/ Saddle Creek/ four Stars
In From, she sings: “One ear to the floor/My dog barking loud/I couldn’t tell for sure/Where the screaming sound/Was coming from.” Lenker units up the deceptively blissful scene of domestication, then slowly pulls the rug from beneath your toes.
Lenker yearns for fireplace and restfulness and, on the identical time, understands that also they are fleeting, made all of the extra worthwhile exactly as a result of they’re so.
Comparisons have been made to the late nice troubadour Elliott Smith. The songs really feel as if they’re sung simply subsequent to your ear and the feelings can flip darkish or gentle in a single phrase relying on delicate inflection.
Against guitar flicks, she exhorts: “Baby, you’re still proud to come down/Maybe I’m still too loud to hear/All the waves ascend and disappear,” she sings so matter-of-factly, you’ll virtually miss the accusatory subtext or her self-incrimination. The vocals are suspended in an echo chamber, disembodied and alienating.
Memories are recalled sensually, if elliptically. In the title observe, Abyss Kiss, she sings about “brushing horses/Manes and tails, flicking flies” and “Wilderness/Vast abyss/ Will we ever kiss?”
Amid the quotidian and routine is a glimpse of clandestine hearts connecting.
This bucolic romanticism is re-enacted within the final tune, 10 Miles. Lenker sings of lovers waking up collectively: “To die in your arms/Your words forming again.”
Everything is hunky-dory, till you realise it’s all wistful pondering and they’re aside.
“Jo, nothing is real/But we still have the feel/You’re closing up the bar/I’m warming up the car/10 miles away,” she sings over feather-light finger-picking, reaching out to the beloved one by means of the vastness of house and time.