Eilen Jewell: Sea of Tears
Cross posted from my blog:
Do you know those opening dirge like moments of the song Endless Sleep by Jody Reynolds? If you don’t it’s a dark mix of rockabilly balladry and sparse shadowy twang. Most of the album Sea of Tears by Eilen Jewell has that feel, and from the moment I heard the title track I had to hear it all.
That first listen came as part of the No Depression podcast # 8 which featured selections from the top albums of the year as voted on my the No Depression community. Of course leave it to me to find the album almost a year after it’s April 2009 release, but it’s taken me longer to find much older albums. I checked the CD out of my local library and gave it a spin. The title track was as good as the first time I heard it and the rest of the album having that same feel has become one of my current faves to put on.
The track Sea of Tears then popped up on a Roots Rock Radio Podcast I had sitting in my queue for the last month or so– just to give me that extra kick in the pants to write something about it. Something that had been brewing for a long time, something about a tune from the world of Folk, Country and Roots Rock that I believed would appeal to people who spend their listening hours with the screaming sounds of the mix of punk, power pop, hard rock, psychedelic, soul, surf and rockabilly that has most recently fallen under the heading of Garage Punk.
Rock and Roll for me has always been about the energy. Elvis, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, The Animals, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, BOC, The Ramones, The Damned, The Misfits, The Screaming Trees, Turbonegro, The Hellacopters and on and on and on– they all have one thing in common in their best moments– Energy.
Eilen Jewell has that energy, that passion and that edge of relish in her delivery of the songs on the album Sea of Tears. It’s as if she can’t figure out if she is really sad, or happy that her heart is broken. There is that tension of joy and sorrow carrying the songs along. I like the dark early rock rumble of the music as much as the almost amused passion of the vocals. Her voice has weight to it, it’s got soul and it’s got a little bit of depth. It’s the kind of voice that should age nicely and I hope is still wailing when it’s 70.
So, all you garage punkers out there, you need something to fill the void of that collection of Estrus CDs gathering dust in the attic of your youth, this might just be it.
Thoughts, Comments, recommendations?