Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

 |   |  1 min read

Caroline Herring: The Great Unknown
Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

The previous album by this Atlanta-based singer-songwriter, Lantana of last year, was a revelation: her crystalline vocals conjured up the purity of Joan Baez but her sometimes dark subject matter took her into that emotionally unsettling area where the likes of Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams and Eilen Jewell sometimes set up shop.

The contrast between Herring’s delicate clarity and a sympathetic song from the perspective of Susan Smith -- the woman who, in 94, let her Mazda roll into a lake and so drown her two children sleeping in the back -- was just downright chilly.

Herring writes evocative, allusive lyrics, or has characters and narratives which are sketched in with a few bare phrases: “”I’m just a white girl from a segregated town”, “Oh, to walk beside an honourable man, sometimes I just do the best I can”, “Somebody light a candle, light my way . ..”

Here she adapts poems by Yeats and Pablo Neruda; makes over Cyndi Lauper’ True Colours into a melancholy country ballad, turns the old blues song See See Rider into a back-porch meditation with banjo and e-bow (from David Goodrich), and respectfully covers Joni Mitchell’s Cactus Tree.

Herring recorded this live and acoustic, and it sounds like she’s in your living room singing songs of emotional depth and first-person stories of people whose lives are veiled in sadness and reflection.

Deep and engrossing.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Larry's Rebels/The Rebels; A Study in Black/Madrigal (Frenzy)

Larry's Rebels/The Rebels; A Study in Black/Madrigal (Frenzy)

Among the many interesting and unreleased things I have at home is a CD burn a friend made of the original versions of songs which Kiwi acts turned into homegrown hits. And the remarkable thing is... > Read more

Various Artists; Where the Boys Are; The Songs of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield (Ace/Border)

Various Artists; Where the Boys Are; The Songs of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield (Ace/Border)

Right at the end of Captain and Tennille's huge pop hit Love Will Keep Us Together in '75-- written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield -- you can hear Toni Tennille spontaneously weave in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Life in a leaky building: a survivor's tale

Life in a leaky building: a survivor's tale

Just before Christmas 2005, we fell victim to the pandemic sweeping across Auckland. You know how it is: you always think it’ll affect someone else and you’ll be okay. So we were... > Read more

PATRICIA PICCININI CONSIDERED (2014): Empathy and the art of the heart

PATRICIA PICCININI CONSIDERED (2014): Empathy and the art of the heart

The most common defense of intellectually bankrupt or emotionally empty contemporary art is that it “invites the viewer to ask questions”. This is reflexive curator-speak... > Read more