Tamara Lindeman‘s evolution as a song writer is nothing short of staggering. Her first songs were recorded to help her grieve; she learned chords, new instruments and how recording works in almost real-time, needing all to document her most personal thoughts.
She was rough around the edges, although truthfully, her songs did their best to hide any of the tell tale signs of inexperience.
Bukowski once wrote, “east is the past”, and it’s hard to find a more fitting quote to describe the growth from seemingly unlimited potential of her debut EP to the fully realized charm of All of It Was Mine. Gone are any of the insecurities of writing or singing songs for the public eye. In their place are confident songs bolstered by time on the road and fully understanding what’s at stake each time you put pen to paper.
This collection of songs is a sharp right turn from sound of Tamara’s latest (and critically acclaimed) LP. Instead of exploring the same textures and satisfying a thirsty fan base, Tamara invited her friends to share in the process. These songs are a true collaboration; dynamic duets that challenged both parties.
And while Tamara intended this project to be a celebration of her friends and their talent, without question these six songs show the talent this young woman possesses. Her voice, so pure and rich, is surprising malleable and moves freely from classic country to fractured folk to ghostly, atmospheric indie rock without missing a beat.
The most accessible (and most expected) songs are the beautiful duets with Daniel Romano. Romano is currently going to-to-toe with Corb Lund for the title of Canada’s best modern country troubadour, so it’s no surprise that his contributions (“Can You See Her in My Eyes” and their take on the Cole & Dolly gem “Tomorrow is Forever”) are timeless and beautiful, but the most impressive aspect is that Tamara shines just as brightly as one of our most seasoned player.
That being said, the remaining four songs are the most rewarding. “Mule in the Flowers” and “First Letters” are inspired, letting Lambke and Kehoe take full advantage of Tamara’s softer, more tender and traditional vocal. Lambke’s songs, seemingly so simple, are a series of heavyweight body shots. When he admits, “maybe I’m a better man well fed ” on Mule, his voice is so broken that his fractured folk threatens to come apart. Lindeman’s voice softens the blow, letting the listener regain balance and keep standing.
Duets might be little more than an excuse to sit at a table with friends and create something beautiful from a snapshot in time, but everything about the project – including the fantastic cover art courtesy of Colin Medley – feels lasting and durable. The heart breaks, but never stops beating until we have nothing left to give.
Thanks to the good folks at You’ve Changed, we are pleased as punch to offer up the world premier of “Brook and Branch.”