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Haley Bonar

Golder

(Self-released; US: 19 Apr 2011; UK: 11 Oct 2011)

Haley Bonar’s fifth album Golder again plays to her strengths. Her voices that speaks in terms both the earthbound and the mystical, and homey country/folkish pop songs that share that balance between dreams and dirt. In some ways, this one does so even better than the others, as the music, richly filled in, seems especially in sync with her and her aims. There’s a lot of heart and brain at work here, wit and sadness, like in “Angry Rattlesnake”, a desert-bound letter to a snake that’s also about a cold-hearted lover, humility, and home and when to return to it. There’s a survivalist’s strength here, as in the kiss-off to the “Raggedy Man” treating her like a toy, in the child’s dream that a disconnected family is still what she wants it to be (“Daddy”) and the song about moving out West and buying a piano (“A Piano”). The milieu here is the frontier – guns, stars, mountains, trees, money and pianos – and the just as wild frontier of love, where people are holding onto each other and letting each other go.

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Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine ErasingClouds.com, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


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