Amber Rubarth, a Nevada chainsaw artist who crafted animal sculptures and wooden furniture, taught herself guitar, then took her refreshing, original songs and wistful sweetness on tour. Tom Waits picked her song “Washing Day” (co-written with Adam Levy) as winner of the International Songwriting Competition and she’s the latest NewSong contest winner. Now’s the time to discover this rising singer/songwriter, guitarist and pianist on her album of songs celebrating the mysteries in daily life.
In the title tune, she claims it’s OK to be uncertain of yourself; just don’t let others define you, because “everybody loves a mystery.” Her voice flies upward; her lyrics bring her down to earth with charming honesty. In “Wish We’d Gotten Drunk,” she nostalgically regrets “carelessly holding your heart,” and then casually whistles. In “Edge Of My Seat,” she observes breathlessly as a romance begins, or does it? She repeats the title with growing intensity. While fitting for this song, it’s a signature motif in her writing; she does the same in “Full Moon in Paris,” as intimately captivating here as in her recent New York shows. A piano piece called “The Stairwell” provides a moody, satisfying finale.