Music sometimes does a really good job of building a visual image for the listener. On her debut solo album, Seed & Silo, Rebekah Rolland paints a number of vivid pictures inspired in part by her experience as a National Parks Artist-In-Residence.
There’s the pioneering homestead from Willa Cather’s Midwest on Hole In the Earth. A more Appalachian setting to Little Blackbird/Duck River, while Standing Still delivers with Mexicali horns. They’re all somehow the slow-panning camera on a Ken Burn’s documentary.
You probably have to call this a folk music album, but that leaves out a lot of information. The lyrics are dense and delivered in a Renaissance-style, story-teller rhythm. The instruments are as much classical as they are American folk, from a collaboration with Oliver the Crow on The Mulberry Tree to French horns on Letters And Photographs. Together they form a rich, layered production that rewards you for multiple listens with additional subtleties and complexities.
Seed & Silo is a difficult album to describe succinctly. But if you’re a music fan that appreciates artists who color outside the lines, I think you’ll enjoy the record. There is a lot to explore and hear and see and after listening to it a few times, you come away feeling a bit more enlightened.
About the author: Support new music. Listen to a band or singer you've never heard of this week. I've been doing that for over 30 years.