Album Review: Adrienne Tooley – The Slow Season

When we first heard Adrienne Tooley’s music, we couldn’t help but stop everything to listen to her sound. It’s a bit 60s folk revival, a bit modern, but with this characteristic authenticity that lures in the listener. Let’s take a listen to the songs on this short and promising EP.

“All My Demons” moves along with a quickening pace. The lyric “look at what this life’s become” resonates really well. It’s not only philosophical, but genuinely engaging in both guitar and vocal. It makes the listener feel a bit like attending a poetry reading as much as music. That’s a compliment.

“Hometown Blues” is not, in fact, a pure blues track stylistically. But the lyrics conjure up the “missed connections” sentiment of wanting to have a relationship. That’s certainly the blues. The intellectual conjecture at the heart of the song is offset nicely with the easy going acoustic guitar work.

“Secondhand Guns” has a whimsical Old World flair to it. The crack in Tooley’s voice on this one hits a soft spot for me that the others don’t seem to. It’s about a cruel interaction, a fight even. But it’s also about the juxtaposition of love and abuse. It’s not really the kind of thing you’d expect from an easy going singer songwriter, but it’s a powerfully moving piece. It’s contemplative and sincere, but ultimately heartbreaking.

The final track “The Fool” is hopeful and endearing. It’s about travelling and seeking; maybe it’s wanderlust, maybe it’s seeking existential meaning. Here’s what I know – the lyric “for it’s hard to stand so tall” hit me right between the eyes. This is about the complicated reality of trying to be with someone else and be on your own. It’s a swirling and motivational piece. Every listen makes me ask new questions.

This album is really thoughtful and engaging. It’s the kind of music we’re always looking for. Tooley’s sense of meaning and authenticity are running at an exceptional level. To couple that lyricism with enjoyable instrumentation makes for the proverbial “total package” and we already can’t wait for the full album.

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