TRACK | Paper Lady – EVE

5/5 golden merles

With much cool and cutting tone about its meteoric structure, “EVE” is a new dream pop / freak folk single from Allston Mass.’ Paper Lady. In it the tale of Eden and the subsequent expulsion is told from Eve’s perspective.

All these fables were pruned and bludgeoned a hundred times after their invention, in translation, misremembrance or intentional contortion, before later stagnating in the evidentiary locker of print and given the illusion of hallowed perpetuity.

The generally agreed upon narrative by authorities features an array of unjust hierarchies ripe for reassessing. The track provides one entry toward a well overdue investment of agency, and with enough style and conviction for a convincing telling. Deft and deliberate, its value is in the considered application of defiance, the stylistic glint and gale of the production, and the inherent virtue of unlearning the lie.

There is much great attention to detail in the production, piercing synth and strings along with carefully incorporated chirps of birdsong in the field recorded elements. An expertly phased and delivered vocal hard cap lands and the end of the verses like lightning and leaves you in an unanticipated sort of awe.

Its lineage is situated in the pantheon of rich parables and commiserations. In both the storytelling and tones the track is reminiscent of some greats within the folk rock genres like Diane Cluck, Townes Van Zandt, and Amy Annelle. There is the feeling of a prairie reframed through the grand metaphor, or a woodland cracked from the frame and wound around your finger.

There are available to us innumerable lies primed for decoding. If we’re going to continue living in these myths, the culture must be malleable. The track provides a good example of the ongoing negotiations resultant from our declining tolerance for the sheer brutality of the world and all its flagrant hypocrisy and pretense. It is a small but welcome offer of a course correction.

TRACK | The Needy Visions – shitty magazine

5/5 golden merles

Nothing is sacred, please relax. The word ‘Zeppelin’ can be uttered, at least a few times, under ones breath now and then. Though it seems like something that can only be summoned indirectly.

The Needy Visions “Shitty Magazine” though does feel a bit like those early numbered albums: all guts and daggers, a kind of rock music that is honed from the homespun into something very special, the wavering grit and spiraled smoke emitting from a stage. Out of place but ideal.

Maybe in this telling the author is proximally more rural, and there’s more collaboration in the composition of the wailing. Maybe it is a little less otherworldly; maybe there’s some more cartilage in the coursing about it. Neither echo nor homage, but not entirely dissimilar: another kind of cathartic and good in its own right.

TRACK | Saralee – The Motion

5/5 golden merles

Saralee’s “The Motion” has some immediate, panoramic, and vivid language. It is for me instantly displacing of my own or transportive to its own universe.

The lo-fi demo-like quality of the seemingly live recorded accompaniment provides both urgency and credulity as the track leans into the gutsy performance. The variable ranges of emphasis on the lead vocals conduct well the underlying unrest.

A small memory or anecdote, well detailed, acts here as an entryway into a great expanse of wondering, empathy and the unknowable. It is immensely effective storytelling.

So much of pop music is a kind of shoddy mesmeric and definitive declaration, an unconvincingly detailed and performative edict of eternal truths: hollowness and posturing. So, instead, there is a striking and surpassing power in embracing doubt and continuing to operate from a position of uncertainty. I have a great admiration for songs that end in inconclusive proclamations.