Sara Bug fills her songs with stories of self-discovery, taking place in scenes from the California coast to New Orleans, trying out different places, lovers and I as she finally returns home to Nashville. For her debut album, the New Orleans-raised singer-songwriter invites herself into an emotional, somewhat pastoral, somewhat ragged indie alt-country sound. It’s a winding but still welcoming journey, as fascinating as the dandelion spores floating on the ground.
Through the record, Bug wanders the geographical and emotional map in search of meaning. Her journey begins with the very first lyrics: “I want to be happy / I want to be with you,” she sings on “Die With You”, lengthening “I” with a touch of vibrato. Her voice rings like the ringing of a bell, evoking the clarity of folk singers like Adrianne Lenker or Fleuriste. When she sings about wanting to be someone – anyone, it seems – she trills urgently, plunging into an alto register like a fuzzy electric guitar, bass and horns crescendo in a soundscape that lasts. more than half of the song. Even though she has had a moment of clarity, it’s like Bug isn’t quite ready to reveal himself just yet.
Bug is absolutely bright at the intersection of indie and alternative country. On âThe Beholder,â one of the album’s strongest tracks, his stylized harmonies over jangly rock riffs and dragging lap steel create a mix of dust and glamor, like stiletto heels stepping on tumbleweed. As the album continues, Bug’s voice gradually becomes more shaky, like the way someone’s accent gets louder when they cross the line from their original state. With the twang comes palpable confidence. By “Back In Nashville”, the album gets closer, Bug has transformed into an intoxicating voice reminiscent of Dolly Parton on a few milliliters of helium. It’s a very fun, two-step comic book piece with steel guitars and exaggerated harmonies that look like glitter bursting in a barn. The song departs from the cool indie rock tone that slips through the rest of the album, but it never feels like an exercise; Bug not only fully inhabits the country setting but, above all, she is an extraordinarily precise singer.
He’s the real star of the show. Bug sounds like she’s both classically trained and accidentally good at the same time, able to throw vibrato for a catharsis and just as easily take it out for the hollow. She can soar to the high notes of the mountain or sing marshy alto ballads in the blink of an eye. Bug uses this dexterity to gradually build up the more confident version of herself at the end of the album, where she sings triumphantly: “I’m back in Nashville / Year after year / Trying to make a family / In la dirt here. Of course, she sounds best when she’s at home.
Buy: Brutal trade
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