You know how Vashti Bunyan's Just Another Diamond Day had people thinking it was a modern take on classic folk music but then it turned out to BE classic folk music? Eleanor Murray's Bury Me Into the Mtn is like that album if the album was an actual modern take on classic folk music.
Fancy Lee Hazlewood-like production throughout this album, which definitely makes the mostly acoustic folk songs hit harder and appear sharper. Also very surprising considering Murray claims the album was recorded during a windstorm. No complaints here and they even use the natural sound sometimes. The opener "Fourteen" features, as a treat, surprisingly heavy production in the middle of what first sounds like a mix of lounge and Americana. Murray's backing band, perhaps not surprisingly, is Mount Eerie, purveyors of the darker sounds of modern folk music. Their playing is soft and careful, like a game of hopscotch, but still add muscle to Murray's punch. For her part, Murray resurrects the spirit of Sibylle Baier and channels it through her own willowy chords. Check out "Rebel/Summer," where she scats verses over a dusty guitar melody.
Murray characterizes the album as one of sincerity, or at least that is what it sounds like on songs like the gem "Louise," with Murray's echoed vocals sounding like she's singing from a moonlit well. The murky guitar playing manages to sound as bright as the soul they're trying to illuminate. The title track is just as brilliant, with Murray carefully revealing lyrics as if blowing seed from her palm. "Something in me slipped way, I don't know its names/Or if it travels to find me as a baby" carries much more weight in than in today's lyrics where dangerous behavior is mistaken for a cure for forgetting your troubles.
Murray continues a powerful tradition of female-voiced folk music, mixing in potent lyrics with simple compositions that expand like ripples in pond. Bury Me Into the Mtn is a beautiful album, delicate, refined but also brutal in its honesty.
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