Sounds | H.C. McEntire - Rows Of Clover
Opnieuw een heel sterke song van McEntire. Een rijk lied ook: de chorus doet omwille van de sfeer helemaal 'west coast' aan en de combinatie tussen piano en de ruimtelijke gitaar lead doen het nummer helemaal zweven.
Every Acre verschijnt op 27 januari 2023 via Merge Records
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As an artist, if what I’m after is meaning and understanding, then vulnerability is how I find my edges. In my experience, if that pursuit is honest and unfiltered, on some level it will also be uncomfortable. Every Acre encouraged a slow observation of everything around me—great heights and vast depths, immeasurable static, and some fragments still coming into focus.
The chorus lyrics in “Rows of Clover” arrived before anything else on this album. They are dark and straightforward, unapologetic—a body in pain, a broken spirit, a tired heart. I needed to acknowledge my grief and depression in an unmistakable way; to name it and know the feeling of it being lifted by my lungs. In contrast, and written much later, the verses offer observations of a more poetic kind, kneeling beside that same garden bed: hunters planting millet and rye; a fawn born in the front yard; sundown through cedars; burn barrels roaring orange; fresh pink ribbons tagging the ridgeline around me. From the center, looking out—I sowed the red clover, to start over again.
The original demo of this song mirrored that sense of despair and moodiness. Interestingly, once in the studio, the song seemed to ask for a new translation. As Missy, co-producer and engineer, put it, “We began full-band tracking late at night, and there was a palpable energy in the air, something laid back, peaceful. We followed it, pushing a little further with each take.” Casey and Daniel got underneath and gave it swagger. Luke turned to the piano, grounded it. Missy encouraged the energy to flow, and it eventually felt like an exhale. Looking back, I see how we let the song transform, let it reach for light, let hope seep in. I can see, and hear, the healing.
Raised in the Blue Ridge foothills of rural Appalachia before earning her B.F.A. in Creative Writing, H.C. McEntire delivers deeply reflective country storytelling that straddles the line between music and poetry. With lilting melodies and lush harmonies, Every Acre explores the acres of our physical and emotional homes. She grapples with themes of grief, loss and links to land and loved ones with an unwavering honesty, as existential concepts of claiming land, claiming self, and being claimed by ancestry and heritage permeate the hauntingly beautiful landscape of this poignant collection of songs. The striking debut single “Soft Crook” offers an unfiltered reflection of navigating depression, garnering early attention from Stereogum, BrooklynVegan, The Boot, The Bluegrass Situation, No Depression and more. H.C. McEntire first established a reputation for her raw, soulful voice as frontwoman of Mount Moriah and later as a backup singer in Angel Olsen’s band, before striking out on her own with her debut solo album LIONHEART in 2018. That release, along with 2020’s follow-up Eno Axis, garnered widespread acclaim from press including Aquarium Drunkard, BrooklynVegan, UNCUT, UPROXX, Stereogum and more. Pitchfork praised her “searing voice and imagistic songwriting,” and Flood declared, “McEntire’s vocals have topsoil grit while being soaring and formidable.”