Inner Child Work Part 2
Modern Indie-Folk Encompassing Drum Machines, Loops, Synths, and More.
Indie-folk isn’t always acoustic guitars and banjos.
Modern indie-folk encompasses drum machines, loops, synths, and more, sometimes fully escaping the orbit of strum and twang. Doesn’t mean it’s soulless or ineffectual, no, not at all.
It’s simply more ways of connecting with “folks” and isn’t that what Folk always was?
Folk Music by folks, for folks.
Californian musician Alicia Blue continues the trend of updating “folk music for the folks” with her EP Inner Child Work Part 2. Back in July of this year Alicia Blue released an EP titled Inner Child Work which featured songs dealing with starting over, self-awareness, and sudden life changes.
Her new EP is a continuation on those themes. (Back in the days of record albums, these would constitute the differing sides of a vinyl disc, but now that we’re securely ensconced in the 21st century, it’s two EPs released months apart.)
Lincoln Parish, from the band Cage the Elephant, has done a solid job of producing Blue’s songs, keeping the production simple, yet effective, letting the words and melodies shine throughout.
Songwriters know full well that the very act of writing songs can be emotionally cathartic, much less hearing the songs transform in ways you never imagined in the studio. Blue has this to say about the songs on this album:
“Each song on Inner Child Work Part 2 is really just about the difficulty of navigating this life and not having all the proper tools to live it in the most successful way, and by successful, I mean the most healthy way. I like to think that getting this all out helps me in some way.”
The first single, “Young,” features John Paul White—formerly of the band Civil Wars, who co-wrote the song with Blue—on second vocals. This one takes ideas from Bob Dylan’s classic song “Forever Young” and flips them upside down. With the sparsest production on the EP—the drums and guitars turned down to whispering shadows, a drone in the background—White’s voice intermingling poignantly with Blue’s throughout, this one stands out for sure.
“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Young
Even if they tell me to Time flies
when you’re having fun
Changes come and I don’t wanna stay young”
“Picasso Blue” has a Heather Nova feel to it, chiming guitars and a big beat.
“I Want it Faster” is an uptempo pop tune, (Blue could easily go the pop singer route, she has the voice for it and effortlessly writes sweet melodies.)
“Believer,” which ends the album, is dreamy and reverb-wrapped, Blue’s voice yearning for some truth to latch onto. She’s learned some lessons on this journey but feels ready to try again.
“See me babe the way I see you
It’s when it’s unknown that it pops up
When I’m trying to grow my heart shuts
This pain I call a friend Make me a believer too…”
Both EP’S are well worth investigating and bode well for Alicia Blue’s imminent rise through the ranks in the Americana playing fields.
Review courtesy The Legendary Roy Peak
Released 18th November 2022
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