Singer-songwriter Juliana Daugherty is back with this limited-edition, milky-clear LP, out on Western Vinyl, a dreamy record that traverses mental illness, political outrage and societal ills, all laced with Daugherty's crooning, lilting vocals. Expect motorik pulses, vaporous strumming and heartbreaking choruses. Killer.
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Who amongst us doesn’t want another Sunday morning folk rock record in our life? Juliana Daugherty’s made the most quintessential of them, spending a day she could’ve described as lazy being sad instead, letting the bare white walls and piled-up crockery gather around her as her lonely apartment becomes the only other character on a record of stark solo murmurations. Of course I think it’s good, but at this point I should probably ask my Editor to swoop in with an advisory note about how easily I’ll get sucked into a barebones indie pop record.
This, though… this is so nice. “Baby Teeth” is ten different How To classes on making a soft song rolled into one, Daugherty’s barely brushed strums meeting near inaudible instrumentation that sounds like a heart beating with brush sticks. It’s a perfect, isolated moment that sounds bummed but not distraught, capturing the feeling in wallowing in your day but not falling into disrepair. “Revelation” moves swiftly between meditative guitar picking and a rushed emotional frenzy, Daugherty pacing through the octaves of her voice and the gears of her fingers for a song that can resolve and then wreck itself.
There’s not much changing this record: it’s largely a chance for Daugherty to show off her immense voice, which is charismatic but downcast, and play some of her simple but shining chord sequences. A keyboard bubbles, here and there, and super-slight arrangements betray her multi-instrumentalist upbringing (raised by trumpeter and violinist, she has a knack for using sounds to be sparing but special) without ever pointing to it directly. This is a total winner, if you ask me. I hope the gloom catches on.
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