Thursday, June 16, 2016

PRIDE 2016: Ana Egge and the Sentimentals -- Say That Now

Last summer, Ana Egge released Bright Shadows, a thoughtful album that displayed her forceful personality through gentle songs. She must have turned right around and hopped on a plane to Denmark, where she recorded Say That Now with Danish indie band the Sentimentals. And as much as Bright Shadows helped me to appreciate the softer side of life, I was gratified by the brash, distorted guitars in the lead-off track, "Take Off My Dress."

This album feels looser, and more like a country album. Songs like "Promises to Break" tap into every good singer-songwriter's amused despair at their own dysfunction. On the other hand, "He's a Killer Now" is a now gruesomely prescient song about a mother's reaction to her son's massacre-suicide.

If I had written this review last Friday as I had intended, I would have mentioned that this song is a searing commentary on American culture: the experience of knowing that your son engaged in such a heinous act, and trying to reconcile the grief for one's son with the disgust for what he did, is common enough now that songs portraying this story no longer need to focus on one specific event. After the events in Orlando, this song is vital: reminding us that there are human beings who need compassion and empathy -- before they can get to the point where they'll commit acts of mass violence -- and that those people leave behind families with extremely difficult emotions to process.

Say That Now is peppered with humor as well as pathos. Overall, it's a fun album but, as we can see, it has a lot to say.

Ana Egge -- Official, Facebook, Purchase on iTunes

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