Few artists have chronicled their depression as well as Lori Carson. The singer-songwriter has bravely exposed such truths that cut so close to the bone, you feel almost embarrassed to be on the receiving end of her confessional tunes. Consider “Train”, a track from her wonderfully-titled album Everything I Touch Runs Wild, a thinly-disguised suicide note masquerading as a lament on a relationship gone wrong. Carson’s delicate tip-toeing around the subject of death makes her attempts at veiling her pain that much more heartbreaking. Fifteen years and three albums have passed since that album and Carson has returned with her newest effort, Another Year. While her latest continues to fine-tune the atmospherically rich and warm folk she is known and loved for, Carson has now moved onto brighter and more hopeful pastures, detailing her humble submissions to the turbulences of life.
Rather than go back to the scene of the wreckage in a relationship, an activity that has thematically imbued much of her previous work, Carson now opts for a much more even-handed look at life. On the album’s centerpiece, “I’m the One Who Runs”, Carson owns up to past mistakes that have led to the demise of what may have been a perfect relationship. But rather than grieve over the loss, she simply chalks it up to a lesson learned. Elsewhere, such as on the sunlit melancholia of “Every Day”, she finds purpose in the most mundane situations with just the aid of a piano and guitar. Even the far more serious downers like “Time Machine”, a song of deep regret, find some lining of silver to draw round the self-contained misery. Carson’s honesty is moving and sincere; she makes no apologies for her faults and her newfound sense of wisdom comes earned with the pains of personal loss. Another Year stands as Carson’s most straightforward and direct collection of work delivered with candour and heart.