‘Blackbirds’ from Gretchen Peters “This is truth undressed and naked …”(December 11, 2014)
When February rolls around next year, Gretchen Peters releases her new album ‘Blackbirds’ and having spent the last few days listening to an advance copy all I can say is ‘go out and buy a copy’ - you’ll thank yourself, for a long time to come. 'Blackbirds' is powerful, poignant and profoundly moving. Make no mistake though, it’s no easy trip, it’s full of penetrating moments that cut deep and leave their mark.
These songs directly brave fears and anxieties, they search through sadness and loss, darkness of the soul, demise and despair. They question values, understanding, acceptance and refusal. They break boundaries and pull no punches. This is truth undressed and naked withholding nothing and revealing shades many would fear to expose. The pulsating guitar running through the uneasy lyrics of ‘Blackbirds’ adds the right amount of angst to a hard tale, a softer approach adorns‘Pretty Things’ but there’s a cutting edge in there, while ‘When All You Got Is A Hammer’ is a narrative that lays out the plight of the returning veteran.
The melodies are haunting. The lyrics piercing. Gretchen’s voice wraps itself around the pain, fear and sadness so intensely that you’re moving deeply into the song and suddenly you’re right there. Living the experience and sharing the sensation. She will pull you in with‘Everything Falls Away’, tear at your heart with ‘Jubilee’ and through the waning light of ‘The Cure For The Pain’ introduce you to lyrics that hurt: “Ain't no shelter from this hard rain. The cure for the pain is the pain." Words that are both brutal and beautiful.
Her previous album ‘Hello Cruel World’ reached deep inside and set her apart as a singer-songwriter, 'Blackbirds' takes her to a more involving and exposed position, to those places where raw emotion resides.
'Blackbirds' releases in the UK on the 9th February 2015, find out more here: www.gretchenpeters.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll