By Brian Rill
Rebecca Folsom’s new double album separates light over dark and unites good and evil. A practical portrait of modernity and a bold criticism of the technological revolution. Disk one, Extraordinary Days bravely embraces advancement of mechanical advantage that mankind has forgotten in the midst of our information superhighway. Rebecca is a heroine who rebukes the notion that because meta aspects of the inferred spectrum are not seen by human eyes, a beautiful sunset can’t be captured fully other than by photographic perfection, induced by a mega smart phone app with a million pixels.
“Why on earth would anyone leave here, except to chase some crazy dream? … Colorado personalty touches a nerve in my spine, the backbone of my livelihood, the land of my dreams: ‘Back where the rivers run wild and cold and the Rockies kiss the sky.’ … The spirituality of nature that I was raised to love is unpretentiously interpreted and straightforward, ‘If you want to go to church, just step outside.’”
Choral voices sound like collective footfalls from morning doves cooing beneath small branches, perched above bare footsteps tiptoeing into a fire ring. Its light slowly reveals stirring red hair of an ashen Siren, thrusting her face into shadow. Callous fingertips gently pluck guitar strings overlaying unapologetic verse. Imploringly subdued but wide-eyed, she watches sand castles deteriorate amid rhythmic testaments in her down beat. Bearing her foot gravely into the muddy ground, while clay citadels collapse under her meter of interjection.
How far away from the outlying range will she strive to voyage? Into a retrospective prior to the Industrial Revolution. Troubadours recognize certain fiscal particulars warranting demand for an audience unplugged. Nostalgic citizens long for times forgoing electronic communication. Enthusiastic congregators crave an epoch of machines while lacking light bulbs. Cultures yearn for perfect sounds from pedantic orchestras void of record players. People rode long rail lines one century before they disported upon premier passenger flights. Rebecca’s albums audaciously display this human virtue of simplicity, like when picking guitar on the front porch while singing became the precursor to radio.
The second CD, Little Medicines strips further down into just voice, piano and guitar a beautiful representation of humanity and mortality. Because we wont live forever, Rebecca polishes eleven songs to last generations. Tunes that could easily be sent on a space probe reveal the harmony of earth wherever it travels for as long as the atomic batteries remain charged.
The Pursuit Of Happiness affirms the axiom, “Why don’t we pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy?” Asking the questions that really squeal the mental brakes, making us wonder. “What happens if we stop reaching and just lower the bar, free ourselves to how amazing our lives really are?” Firmly making the point further, “We’re always waiting for our lives to begin, lets pull over and let this living begin.” As songs go, this is one mega hit with a strong constitution. Holding up to the afflicted repetition in the present business of genetically modified music with an iron heredity.
Come As You Are involves a circuitous view of astrophysics as a microcosm of amity. It’s preface rests on a simple premise, “There are all kinds of stars, supernova dwarfs and even quasars. All of them timelessly burning, each sphere has a song to sing. A light that only it can bring.” We come from stardust and return from whence we are. “Even if you feel like your falling, its alright. Remember things are changing at the speed of light. Go ahead and shine so bright.”
If you really love Rebecca Folsom, than two is better than one. The depth between the twin albums is paramount as you may not discover the solid and succinct messages immediately after first listening. Subsequent months of play may uncover substantial amounts of soul flowing through both collections. There is always more to learn about the balance of universal peace these counterparts are crafted with. www.rebeccafolsom.com