Spending time with his album allows it to reveal its tender, contemplative charms – not immediate but very rewarding.
Eliza Edens describes her second album as “existentially-minded”. It “seeks to understand what happens after the end. Whether grappling with heartache or a loved one’s mortality.” ‘How’ leads the album with a song that endorses her view of this as a devotional album, with a distinctly Indian Raga feel to it. “But, how could you? When we were young, blind and falling And how can you? Linger on, drink your coffee like there’s nothing wrong.”
The delicate sparse sound takes inspiration from people like Nick Drake, and Karen Dalton. There is a sixties feel to much of the music. On ‘Westlawn Cemetery’ the synth drone, heart beat-like drums, and distant electric piano bring a psychedelic folk sound to the song. ‘I Needed You’ ”explores the liminal space that exists near the end of a relationship – when you’re vacillating between “I need them” and “I don’t need them.” What started as a break up Waltz song has become a languid electric guitar based piece that leads into ‘North to South’ which has an almost classical guitar at its core with Dexter Wolfe’s lap steel underlining more words about the ending of relationships. “It’s an odd truth. A tangled bruise. And I’m left with these memories of you.”
The other stand out song on the album is ‘Tom And Jerry’. Pat Keen’s electric bass drives the song along. Comparing her relationship to a Tom and Jerry cartoon where the “story is the same every time and yet it’s always so satisfying” is a new way of looking at love. “It’s an apt metaphor for the tension of always wanting or yearning for something and for two characters always going after each other”.
The introspective nature of the songs is reflected by Edens’ singing style. Sounding almost sleepy at times, but never less than thoughtful. The lyrics are the key to this album and the spaces in the production she has left with her co-producer Pat Keen do throw the words into the front of each song. The playful tone of parts of ‘Tom and Jerry’ contrast with a wistfulness in songs like ‘Ineffable’ “There’s a thousand little worlds. From the look of a lover. To the softness in a stranger’s eyes. There’s a thousand little words. I could string ‘em all together. But it wouldn’t make sense of the same strangeness of it all.”
Reading the words on a page they work as well as poetry as they do as song lyrics. This is one of those albums that needs time to allow it to get under your skin, in much the same ways as her influences, Dalton and Drake.