Sara Watkins: Sun Midnight Sun
Style: Indie Americana, compare to Punch Brothers, The Civil Wars, Sandra McCracken
Top tracks: "Take Up Your Spade," "Lock and Key," "You're the One I Love"
Sara Watkins sings with honeyed voice and weathered fiddle on her second superb solo release. The distorted reverb that leaps from her bow in the collection's opening notes signals that this, like the music of Nickel Creek that launched her career, isn't bluegrass but something related: an indie-pop hybrid built on rich Americana tradition and instrumentation. There's a subtle electric growl that burns beneath Sun Midnight Sun as lyrics trace a relational arc. Love rises and falls, raising soul-searching questions about its nature. And the closing hymn "Take Up Your Spade" invokes forgiveness and leaves an earthy and moving welcome to "Give thanks for all that you've been given / Give thanks for who you can become."
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