Cashavelly Morrison's debut album, The Kingdom Belongs to a Child, is a remarkable pearl. Though the album bears Morrison's name, the project is co-piloted by her husband, classical guitarist Ryan MacLeod. Cashavelly's story is unusual in and of itself: a trained ballerina, she broke her spine at the age of 23. She turned her creative energy towards prose-writing, and she and Ryan began singing and writing folk songs together throughout the marriage. After a miscarriage and the death of her father, the Morrisons decided to book some studio time to record these songs as a "passion project." Their sound engineer convinced them to get a band together, give these songs the proper treatment, and put it out there for all to see. The press release doesn't give his name, but I'd like to find him, shake his hand, and buy him a top-shelf drink.
Kingdom is so much more interesting, dramatic, and layered than my retelling of the story. It's also probably not the album you'd expect after reading the above. There's no doubt that these songs are moody and deal with heavy themes -- the kickoff track, "Long-Haired Mare," is about a woman taking the heat for her daughter after killing her would-be rapist. However, these songs aren't heavy-handed. Morrison's voice is nothing less than captivating, and her light touch avoids the maudlin while sending chills up your spine. The Kingdom Belongs to a Child is beautiful, probably one of the most thoughtful, delicate, and elegant albums I've written about here. You owe it to yourself to give it a spin.
Cashavelly Morrison -- Official, Facebook, iTunes
Edit 11/1: Corrected Ryan's last name is MacLeod, not Morrison