AZITA – Disturbing the Air

January 01, 1970

(Drag City)

 

www.dragcity.com

 

Somebody
done AZITA wrong.

 

Right
as her fourth album is getting underway, she’s predicting what will bring her
together with a certain someone in “Then Our Romance.” The song stands as
either one of the most surreal settings for romance to bloom (“When the fire
soaks in through to the you alarm [sic]…”) or I’m missing the point of a
long-winding take on “when hell freezes over.” Regardless, it’s clear from the
next song that things didn’t work out. In fact, the pianist’s heart has been
ravaged because she intones, “You had to cut me down once you knew you were the
one I loved the best.” From there, it continues in a torrent of mash notes, all
reflecting on the collapse of a relationship, contemplating what went wrong and
what will happen now that it’s time to pick up the pieces.

 

It’s a
topic that’s been around since the beginning of time, but it’s never been sung
about this way. As the lyrics quoted above reveal, AZITA doesn’t merely cry in
her beer or draw cracked hearts on her notebook. She loses sense of her sense
of place in the universe and struggles to find something to put her back in
balance. By the last song, “Keep Hymn,” a ray of hope finally appears to
predict that life will go one and she might make it through this disaster.

 

AZITA’s
debut album Enantiodromia made an
intriguing listen because of it knocked the pianist/singer-songwriter
institution on its ear. AZITA’s warbly, between-the-pitches vocals were
leveraged by a writing style that skipped linear verses and choruses in favor
of something that seemed fell far from predictability. But after three albums
that typically presented her work in a trio format (with bass and drums) she
decided to go it alone and this time many of the songs are built on stark chord
progressions that often follow the vocal melody or ring out between lyrics, and
everything moves pretty slowly. It presents a challenging listen from someone
who’s already pretty challenging on a good day. But even in those moments when
she really presses her luck by singing in a high soprano (“I Was Indebted”) ,
the imagery of her lyrics – much of which could blow minds if it was published
on its own – carry the album.

 

DOWNLOAD: “September,”  “Should I Be?” MIKE SHANLEY

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