Repeating Myself (Oscar St. Records)
As a veteran of the music scene, New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder carries a weighty local influence. Recently setting up a new label, Oscar Street Records, the singer combed the West Coast for the best unsigned talent. Nabbing a coveted spot on the roster, then, is a big responsibility—but Peach Pyramid, the alias of Jen Severtson, more than stands up to the pressure.
Severtson’s biography is particularly relevant to Repeating Myself. Landing in Victoria by way of Calgary, the artist has experienced feelings of displacement and uncertainty that surface in the lyrics of the album. Exploring themes of abuse and healing, lines like “Tugging my strings, I won’t feel a thing/Make me a fool again and again” from opening number “Getting Cold” rub up against “It’s true/I do/Want to give in to you” on the more upbeat “Truth”.
Don’t imagine the record to be heavy, though. Before tuning into the lyrics, you’ll think Repeating Myself has all the hallmarks of a summer album. Juxtaposed with her heartfelt discussions of life and love are breezy, elegant melodies and reverb-soaked, swirling guitars, replete with hazy harmonies. Severtson’s voice is flawless when skipping between pitches on tracks like “We Glide/She Sighs” and manages to slip between dreamily ethereal and aggressively powerful on album standout “My Collapse”. Add to that a selection of pop hooks that Feist would give her right arm for, and you’ve got a record that’s designed to calm and enthrall as much as reveal Severtson’s deepest thoughts.
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