Cara Luft's Darlingford is filled with raw emotion
Darlingford (Blue Case)
Some artists do their best work when they’re pretty damn blue, and Cara Luft just might be one of them. Based on the songs here, and on some remarks she made during a recent house concert, Luft wrote most of Darlingford during the dark months that followed a betrayal and a breakup—and it shows.
On “Bye Bye Love”, the former Wailin’ Jenny sings like a heartbroken bird, mourning her empty home and her absent lover. On “House on Fire”, she’s seeking solace at a friend’s place, weeping in the bathrobe that bastard bought her the year before. And on “Idaho” she’s off on a road trip, finding comfort in the rolling landscape of the Prairies and in her Republican aunt’s basement guest room.
“I need to begin my life all over again,” she wails, before Jesse Zubot comes in on the violin and the song takes a wilder and more positive tack. Things improve from there, with only a moody, string-cushioned tribute to Roméo Dallaire breaking an emotional ascent that eventually leads to a song called “It’s Gonna Be Alright”. Message received!
The weird thing about Darlingford is that it’s so straightforward, musically, that it almost reads as a New Country album, albeit one with strong folk roots. Lyrically, too, Luft addresses the familiar topic of heartbreak in unquestionably familiar ways. But the real emotion that pours out of these tracks is so raw that it’s hard not to sympathize with the singer’s plight, hope for her future, and sing along.