Based in Austin and fronted by Illinois-born Lizzy Lehman (the band name comes from Cary, Illinois, where she first performed in public at a school summer camp), the five-piece draw their musical influences from sources as diverse as Laurel Canyon, the Brill Building and Manchester, pulling together for a sound that, while she may reference Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlile, Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith, can’t but help, especially in her voice, call to mind Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.
She calls their sound “new-wavey folk” and “late-night heart-worn indie-folk,” but it’s essentially 70s shaded pop-rock with a touch of Americana, deftly captured in Alabaster‘s opening track, Detroit Snow, the bouncy Sleepy Eyes and the drum slow stomp and piano backed mid-tempo ballad, Quiet The Alarm.
The music’s bright, but the lyrics not always so. The former track refers to a former bandmate’s substance abuse, while, built around Frank LoCrasto’s piano Unmerciful Month is about another bandmate’s traumatic breakup and the death of a close friend’s father by a drunk driver, the spare, piano ballad Lost And Found details a love-hate relationship with her hometown. That said, the organ-backed sprightly Small Steps is about how you can make it little-by-little if you try and, according to her blurb, Run Of The Land “breathes life into a salt-shaker rabbit.”
It’s not an album to bring them breakout success, but there’s enough here to provide a solid foundation on which to build.
Review by: Mike Davies