We all endure loss in our lives, but in 2011, Terri Binion was dealt a dose of tragedy far beyond her share, losing both of her parents and also her wife, Tracy, who was killed in a freak accident at work. But even such tremendous pain couldn’t silence the singer/songwriter, who has become an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage equality and reinvigorated her career in music. On March 25th, she’ll release her first album in over a decade, the meticulously crafted The Day After The Night Before.
Elmore Magazine is honored to offer readers an exclusive stream of the record, 11 tracks that Binion skillfully imbues with pain and anger, but also great heapings of love and beauty. Listening to the record, her process of catharsis as she struggles to cope with her sorrow is palpable. The opening track, “Long Way Back,” introduces the intimate themes of the album: “it’s hard not to question the universe’s hand and the twisted ways of the law. It’s a long way back to feelin’ good.” The album’s journey is rooted in the sweet, yearning twang of her voice, which she wields with dynamic range and power. Her earthy, perfectly-imperfect vocals recall those of Lucinda Williams, who lent her vocals to a track on Binion’s 2004 effort, Fool, and radiate warmth and welcome in tandem with poetically crafted lyrics and melodies which feel familiar from the very first listen.
“Walking In Circles” shows off her vocal range and merges folk and country traditions to ruminate on the confusion of loss. In “Tecopa California,” she taps into the lonesome lore of the west, weaving south for the simple plucking and eerie strings of “Grace In Mid City.” She takes a soulful turn with the fiery electric guitar of “Burden Song,” and spices “These Days” with a touch of honky tonk. Binion’s evocative, ethereal lyrics shine on “Green Velvet Coat,” as she sings of a great love, “We were like fire in the lowlands.”
On the track “Orphan Boy,” with a plaintive cello and tight harmonies, Binion pays homage to Neil Young, with a soaring, bittersweet chorus of “only love can break your heart.” Binion has loved profoundly, and through her album, urges us to do the same, calling Young’s lyrics to mind when she thinks about her life and her musical journey. ““Only love can break your heart,” it is one of the most simple and profound truths I have ever known,” she suggests, “If you think about it, it just is the most basic truth when it comes to matters of the heart. Through the years, through the unfathomable suffering, through the undeniable magic that the universe offers us, if we let love and forgiveness be the lens through which we experience this lifetime, we can not only survive, but rise to meet that which holds us. I’m thrilled to meet you here. Enjoy the music.”
Stream The Day After The Night Before before, and buy a copy when it hits the shelves on March 25th.