By now, the folk singer from Colorado has an impressive collection of albums in various styles. Critically acclaimed, too, and something of a FRUK favourite. On 11 November, Fire Records releases Josephine Foster’s new album I’m a Dreamer.
As you’re putting it on, time stops, re-winds, and goes on swinging in the early 20th century. Like a vinyl record coming through an antique radio on a field of wild grass and mad trees in between the criss-crossing motorways in the south of a capital city. Spinning as the sky darkens, gently comforting like the veteran dancers at the Northern Soul nights at The Shooting Star in London.
Or, as her record label puts it: “Folks will want to call this her Harvest, with its harp and pedal steel, its double bass and cascading piano.”
“No One’s Calling My Name” looks to the west and listens to the wind, “Pretty Please” walks through a park, “just my shadow and myself”, while “This Is where the Dreams Head, Maude” follows sad sweetness into a downpour of keys.
However, Josephine Foster, as elegantly as her voice sails across the notes, is also capable of sharp, witty puns and macabre humour. “Amuse a Muse” for example warns that muses rot away when neglected and, with an air of Nico & The Velvet Underground and Amanda Palmer, exclaims “make sacrifices on her altar, she’s someone’s beloved daughter, too” and “we’re liable to decay, our flesh will rot away, some day we’ll lie in coffins, all our beauty long forgotten”. Deadly.
And then the final song promises that there is a cabin in the sky. What more do you need. A record to loosen your grip on the unattainable, an album to lose your head with instead.
Review by: Anne Malewski
Sugarpie I’m Not The Same
Released on Fire Records November 11, 2013
You lucky people who live in the UK can see her at the Bring To Light Festival at Library of Birmingham on 26 October 2013.
Video: In Conversation with Josephine Foster (2011)
American in origin Josephine had spent the last few years at the time of this video in southern Spain soaking up flamenco music and almost forgotten Spanish folk songs. Planning to reunite herself with her American roots this video captures her at the tail end of her Spanish excursion.