Amy Blaschke has the kind of voice that can preoccupy your every moment. Well after her self-titled sophomore disc has left the CD player, Ms. Blaschke will still be lingering in your mind like the fog of a half-forgotten dream. For days after, her words will filter into your thoughts when you least expect it, causing you to run to the album’s liner notes to memorize the lyrics.
In addition to providing the vocals, Amy Blaschke picks up guitar duties and is backed by Erin Tate (Minus the Bear) on drums and backing vocals and James Bertram (Red Stars Theory) on bass. The trio creates a sparse soundscape that perfectly complements Blashcke’s songwriting and the album offers nine superbly crafted tracks.
Although the songs here are sometimes sorrowful, I don’t find them depressing so much as reflective. Yes, the music here is stark and Blaschke’s voice could be the perfect accompaniment to your next near catatonic angst-fest, but the overall affect here is something quite a bit different. Perhaps it is because I am a bit older than Amy Blaschke and have already been through the often tumultuous early-20s period of doubt and torment, but when I delve into her lyrics I find a woman emerging into a place that has at least has a single shaft of light shining through. While “Skating at Night” finds Blaschke declaring “It makes me sentimental,” other tracks like “Foreigner” give Amy the room to chew on thoughts like “You’re so dim I can shine freely. I declare I won’t be a foreigner.”
Any music this austere will have a limited span of appeal, but Amy Blaschke is already quite an accomplished songwriter that I think this album could reach quite a range of people. Despite having never heard Blaschke’s debut, I think it’s safe to say she has already come a long way. This is one that will long accompany certain thoughtful moods as I search for my own lights along the way.