I can’t but feel sorry for someone who doesn’t have a creative artistic outlet. I know from personal experience how cathartic composing a song can be after you have had an emotionally heavy experience. The true beauty in this process is that another sentient being whether it's live or a recorded version can connect with those emotions that the artist was trying to convey. It’s not uncommon for an artist to produce their most celebrated work in times of emotional stress. Just take a look at Nick Cave’s latest Skeleton Tree.
To say that The Pulse by Ivy. The Pulse was created under an emotionally heavy time would be an understatement. On her Bandcamp page she says, “This album was catapulted into fruition after the passing of my sister Allison. Life is short and too precious to not live out your dreams!” I have to say that after having knowledge of circumstances you listen to music with a different set of ears.
The Pulse is poignant but also feels quite hopeful. The songs delicately balance different shades of emotions. I would say that this balancing act often happens within the same song. She opens with the title track which is one of the more upbeat songs on the album. The recording sounds great and the genre falls into rock/pop. Her vocals are front and center and carry the song. She sings, “That you're deep inside / The pulse / Of my veins / Of my heart / Of my broken soul /I 'll never let you go.”
“Solace” is a stripped back effort revolving around mostly guitar and vocals. The song is haunting yet like the title infers it is also comforting. The lyrics are heartbreaking and revolve around a love that never comes. “Better Days” might be my personal favorite. The vocals are fantastic and worthy of some tears.
Things start to pick up with “Old Apartment” and “Indigo Nights.”.These two songs mix and balance emotions with eloquence. As the album progresses I was impressed by the variety of different energy she brings to the songs. She closes with the piano led “Wonder Where You Are” which is an emotionally heavy mediation on passing over.
Even If I didn’t read about the impetus behind this album I still would have been moved. The Pulse isn’t an easy listening experience but why should it be. There is real thought and emotion behind the sounds and I for one heard it loud and clear.
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