Album Review: Talena Bricker – Drowning (Winner NMF 70)

Talena Bricker’s style will be welcome to many of our readers. She is a contemplative singer songwriter with command of the acoustic guitar. Her lyrics are often poetic and thoughtful. Drowning is an interesting album that is worthy of your listen.

The opening “Walking Mountain” is a plodding, thoughtful piece. It encourages listeners to listen carefully as the vocal is almost whispered. The layers of synths and guitars in the background provide an intriguing aesthetic. The title track “Drowning” that follows is the first we heard from Bricker. It continues to impress us with the effect on the vocal as it rises above the base acoustic elements. The overall vibe of the track is thoughtful and mysterious in the best way possible.

“Hidden” is another soft and subtle track. The star of this one, actually, is the piano. It provides a much-needed sense of bass to the track. There’s a greater depth to the sound because of the acoustic core. “Past Tense” as a bit more of a happy-go-lucky vibe to the fingerpicking, even though the lyrics are not so joyful. It feels like “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” or something like that. The lyrics of course reflect on things that happened in the past and the complex emotions that go with that reflection.

The final track “From These Cliffs” is about perspective. It’s a nice set of metaphors about reflecting on how we perceive our own lives and derive meaning. When you click play on the track you may be expecting to be entertained, but really it’s a philosophical treatise. It’s a pleasant one, though.

This album shows a thoughtful songwriter. In a world of so many toe-tapping pop songs from singer songwriters, it’s nice to have this kind of thoughtful reflection on each track. It might not be a soundtrack for your next dance party, but you’ll love to put this on while you sit and reflect on life. It would pair nicely with some meaningful reading and quiet solitude.

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