exceptional class

Singer-songwriter Edie Carey recorded twelve songs on her sixth solo album in 2022 that she wrote around the theme of the unexpected removal of everyday life’s veil by major events.

The title track opens the album symbolically: she sings how her father put her to bed as a small child, how her own child needs her less and less, how a car accident literally and figuratively turned her life upside down and how American society becomes more divided than ever, but:

‘no matter how we wish it/we cannot go back now’. She does this in a muted and somewhat nasal voice, which links regret to stubborn melancholy.

Carey, who plays acoustic guitar and sometimes piano, is accompanied in that song too by drummer Aaron Anderson, bassist Stuart Maxfield, who doubles on baritone guitar, guitarist Paul Jacobsen, pianist John Standish and keyboardist-producer Scott Wiley. Despite the large group of musicians, space dominates, so that Carey’s emotions take center stage.

In her melodic folk rock, ballads with beautifully rounded, layered melodies are in the majority. Her lyrics are at the centre, just like in three songs that effectively rock: she sings about an estranged lover, someone who is blocked by grief and a relationship of which she has bitter memories and a five-year-old daughter.

In many of her texts she focuses on human shortcomings in anecdotal sentences. She thus increases the tragedy by pointing it out rather than naming it. She does this just as accurately as poignant in two songs in which love does win.

The fact that such a talented singer-songwriter thanks the 516 participants in her Kickstarter campaign in the booklet, proves that record labels have been sleeping, but at the same time it gave Carey the freedom to record a classic on her own terms.