Mag 14 2006, 4:36
I'm listening to Rose Melberg's new record, Cast Away the Clouds, her first since The Softies 2000 album, Holiday in Rhode Island. For those of you who don't know her yet, Melberg used to be a member of one of the most beloved indiepop bands of the 1990's, Tiger Trap. I always thought that they were America's answer to the U.K.'s Heavenly. Anyway, from Tiger Trap, Melberg went on to be a part of Go Sailor! (with Amy Linton of Henry's Dress and The Aislers Set), Gaze and the lovely Softies (with Jen Sbragia). A little trivia for comic book fans, fantastic comic book series Optic Nerve writer/ artist, Adrian Tomine designed some of the Softies record sleeves. Okay, back to Melberg. Cast Away The Clouds is a very intimate record, something one would expect from Melberg. Not surprising at all, but still very bewitching. Melberg's voice has a lot to do with it of course, sweet but not too sugary, gentle and delicate. Her songwriting has developed not too noticeably but it's a very subtle maturescence. Probably a result of her having and raising a child. My brother said that some of the tracks remind him of The Innocence Mission and I do agree with him. Simple, lilting, sweetly melancholic and with a minimalist approach, Cast Away The Clouds is a very tender album, one of the best of this year. Amazing, considering the fact that she was idle for quite sometime.