Artist: Ana Egge
Album: Bright Shadow
Release Date: 07/30/2015
Ana Egge possesses the wonderful ability to tell insightful stories in a beautifully simple yet playful way. Her contemplative lyrics uncover truths amongst the basic things in life, and absorb the lessons that she tells through detailed stories. Egge offers strong yet soft lower-register vocals with sweet high wails that pair well with bluegrass strums. Emotive fiddle and harmonies grace “Dreamer,” the opening track from her latest, Bright Shadow. Egge’s storytelling comes alive with the second track, which personifies a flat-top guitar. The instrumentals are more noticeably folksy, with banjo and stand-up bass registering behind Egge’s piercing vocals, which she pairs with two lines of harmony. “Jenny Run Away” paints the picture of a nighttime adventure in a rural setting. The murder ballad is masked behind lighthearted yet mischievous music. Title track “Bright Shadows” plays like a soothing lullaby and brings introspective lyrics that begin from a third-person narrative perspective and then transition into a personal tale. “I know a girl, a girl with wings. She can’t fly, only in her dreams. But if she can’t fly, why does she have those dreams?”
As the album sweeps along, “Rock Me (Divine Mother)” continues down a path of reflection, this time opening right away in first person. It’s almost as if Egge has shyly built up to this breakthrough moment, where she bears her soul. The heavenly harmonies are pure instead of twangy like the more upbeat country tunes. “Wildflowers” sings the song of freedom noted throughout the album, while “Fifth of July” conveys a sense of uneasiness and heartache. “Maps of the Moon” has a deep, apprehensive bass, with discords that turn into harmonies before sinking back into a state of anxiety that matches that of the vocals and lyrics. Egge’s poetry reveals lost love through a moonlit garden story. Cigarettes, drinking your troubles away, and unrequited love are just some of the classic country themes explored in last heartache narratives, “Turning Away” and “The Ballad of Jean Genet.” If you dig deeper, you’ll find more hidden tales within each story.
– Kalyn Oyer