Wednesday, March 4, 2009

songs for edna by caroline weeks

I have to admit, at first listen, Caroline Weeks' debut album Songs For Edna (out 3/17) didn't exactly grab me. Maybe it was the stigma of being a former Bat For Lashes cohort. I was expecting big. I was expecting weird. What I got is a low-fi recording of a single woman strumming her guitar, warbling in an almost medieval soprano. Hello dramatic paradigm shift!

When removed from artificially inflated expectations, Songs For Edna is intriguing. No doubt the stripped-down instrumentation and lo-fi production will lead many people to label this as intimate or personal. I however, will respectfully disagree. Instead of a heart-on-her sleeve singer-songwriter, this the work of a troubadour in the traditional, high-middle ages sense of the word. Songs For Edna is a impenetrable collection of musical poetry, lush imagery, and stories of love and loss. There is a passion and committal to the form, almost more than the finished product: one gets the impression she's playing for the pure love of the story -- listeners be damned. While this makes for a beautiful, more-or-less interesting piece of work, ultimately it might be Weeks' impersonal touch that proves to be her undoing.

(photo Caroline Weeks: Rupert Noble)

mp3: "Elegy" by Caroline Weeks

No comments: