It wasn’t a conscious decision to have so many album reviews in such a short span of time, there just happen to be so many great albums coming out, that someone needs to help you figure out what they are.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the music of Christmas, the indie punk rock band helmed by Emily Beanblossom that is. But after listening to their album High Fives and Handshakes I was left wondering, “what would a solo Beanblossom album sound like?” I needn’t wonder any longer because she just released her debut album Pith, under the pseudonym Ruby Fray.
Technically this isn’t a solo album, underneath it’s tasty freak-folk and twisty-pop crust, lies a garrison of k-records alum. Calvin Johnson, Angelo Spencer, Arrington de Dionyso, and members of LAKE are a sampling of the albums contributors. Their talents are equally on display and add perfectly to the broad scope of the album.
What really made Christmas standout to me were the beautiful vocals of Beanblossom. Pith acts like a showcase for the many facets of that voice. From the Uber-Pop in Mint Ice Cream, to the doo-wop of What’s All This Talk, to the impenetrable ballad Barren Hill, and the quirky folk of And the Moon. The albums disparate musical elements are sewn together by Emily Beanblossom’s, chilling vocals, a cross between legend Stevie Nicks and local artist Shana Cleveland (The Curious Mystery).
The experience of listening to Pith is like being that guy who gullibly opens a can of mixed nuts only to be surprised by a spring loaded snake over and over. Twelve times to be exact. Each song a different experience in another genre, which could come across as erratic, but I find it sonically satisfying.
Chances are you’re not going to find another album like this in 2012. It’s nothing if not unique. Pith is a complete and fulfilling journey through Emily Beanblossom’s lovely vocal stylings, and the eclectic instrumental collaborations from some the PNW’s best musicians. Fans of Christmas or just fans of music in general will absolutely devour this delectable offering.