The ten story songs on the eleventh album by this blond-haired 6’ tall lesbian of Norwegian extraction are all original compositions bar one. The exception is a cover of Diana Jones’ Ballad of the Poor Child which also features the distinctive voice of Iris Dement.
These are songs of experience where the wisdom is written between the lines. Ana Egge’s warm, occasionally breathy vocals, manage to sound assured yet vulnerable and often exude a bluesy seductiveness.
The horn arrangement of What Could Be has shades of Joni Mitchell as the singer poses the million dollar question ”How do we love?
The rhythm section of Jacob Silver and Robin MacMillan together with the pedal steel of Matt Davison and fiddle of Alex Hargreaves give the music a funked-up alt.country feel that never feels restricted to a single genre.
I also like the playfully elusive quality to the lyrics. This means that the “love baby” in Teacake and Janey may or not be a reference to Ana Egge’s five-year-old daughter while Chasing Rabbits in the Sun suggests a noirish revenge story.
Others appear less ambiguous. Hurt a Little proposes we all need to learn from our mistakes and Rise Above affirms the need think for yourself rather than follow the prejudices of others.
All told though, this is a record that doesn’t reveal its secrets in one listen and gets better on each hearing.
Ana Egge’s website