Long Shot Novena
Eileen Rose’s debut album from last year, Shine Like it Does, was a lovely collection of countryfied pop, but perhaps a bit too disparate for its own good. It’s good to see, then, that she’s surpassing herself with this one, an at times stunning album that has her sharpening her songwriting, focusing her attention not only on making her various influences — broadly ranging from country to soul — flow together, but also on deepening her approach by allowing herself to dwell on and consider her material much more than she allowed for the last time around.
And so, what we get is an album of sweet and profound Americana, a personal document and a stunning collection of songs. Moving between funky country pop material — kudos for improbably imitating Prince on “See How I Need You” — soul and blues-y work-outs, Rose shifts between resembling Liz Phair, Oh Susanna, and Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones. That is, until you realize she’s found a voice of her own, something that draws extensively on the great catalogue of recent folk, but at the same time is nothing but her own, idiosyncratic style. A mesmerizing, moving album that her debut only hinted at, this release signals the emergence of a new star in contemporary folk.
Sanctuary Records: http://www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.com