Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kathryn Calder

Bright and Vivid

File Under: Music

Sometimes dark and/or sad lyrics can be the best lyrics of all, if sung this sweetly, soothingly, and with a steely resolve, determination, and calmness. These types of lyrics can also be a source of comfort. Life will go on, it has to go on, and that whatever pain or loss you are feeling now, will bring you understanding and relief down the line, even if the loss or pain never truly goes away.

Bright and Vivid was recorded after Calder’s mom had passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The lyrics deal with her learning to cope with the loss. And most of these lyrics aren’t downers. “New Frame of Mind” the album’s best track, points to a better future, even as the line, “how many throats will I cut til I see, what is beyond the breech,” means she is going to have that release and happiness any way she can get it.

The rough folk rock of Calder’s debut Are You My Mother soared in a way very few albums did in 2010, as for example Vampire Weekend’s Contra, and the New Pornographers Together, of which Calder is a member. Bright and Vivid couldn’t be more different musically than her debut, with its very lovely melodic synth and guitar-based rock. And it soars just as high. There are very few albums that come up to its level this year, like St. Vincent’s Strange Mersey and Tune Yard’s Whokill. There are also many wonderful found sounds on it, like water being poured from a pitcher into a glass in ”Five More Years.” In the end, one of the best albums of the year. [http://www.facebook.com/kathryncalder?ref=ts]

Andrea Weiss

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