Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith–the faces behind musical duo Cricket Blue–pride themselves on making folk tales out of folk music. Their debut full-length album, Serotinalia, interweaves the fantastical with very real questions of emotional and philosophical value more often than it doesn’t. The intricate fire that gradually burns throughout the dark imagery of “Psalm”, for instance, is described by the two as such in a statement to PopMatters.
“Long after an important relationship ends, the character in ‘Psalm’ feels guilty for thriving in her new life even as she describes scenes which indicate that she has not recovered. The narrator takes cues from plants and animals in domestic captivity to navigate the moral landscape of moving on. The song borrows its structure from an Old Testament passage in which musicians will not play music for their captors after losing their homeland.”
Musically, the song builds through moments of quiet and fervor alike as the narrator’s moral compass comes under self-interrogation. Sporting buoyant guitar tones and vibrant violin, Cricket Blue’s deft instrumentation expertly navigates the themes that they detail for “Psalm” beside the ebb and flow of a brilliant, understated vocal performance. As it builds itself up and down, the song never feels too big for its britches or too hushed to make an impact. Rather, Cricket Blue becomes further established as a folk act to keep an eye out for with the superb songwriting present here.