[12 March 2009]
Ana Egge has such a fresh voice and outlook on life that it’s hard to believe she’s been making music for more than 17 years. On her sixth album, Egge looks at her history as a way to move into the future. The autobiographical material doesn’t hold her down. She’s not reflecting on the past as much as refracting it: altering the course of a wave of energy in the way water does to light as enters from the air.
The dozen original tunes here tell of the secrets we share with strangers, the special landscapes we see with squinted eyes, the relationships we know we should resist but just can’t. Egge’s ably aided by the instrumental assistance of Steve Moore (Sufjan Stevens), Michael Jerome (Richard Thompson), Adam Levy (Norah Jones) and Tony Scherr (Feist) and the harmony vocals of Frazey Ford and Trish Klein of The Be Good Tanyas. These musicians are great, but Egge’s front and center. She doesn’t overpower. She let’s the material speak for itself. This approach works well for her, even on her one cover, the spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, which Egge performs acoustically like a folk song rather than take the more conventional big gospel approach.