Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin
Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin on this a stylish singer/songwriter album. The tales are told with humour, sadness and a freshness – the energy is from the pure delight Rachel imports into every track. Rachel is based in San Fransico, Wink at July her fifth tuneful album makes the sun shine what every the weather.
Wink at July a journey both physically and lyrically on a perfect summer holiday. Taking the listener from the Berkeley Hills to the Isles of Scotland (her mother’s homeland) via the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1950; Keith Haring’s graffiti and the artist studio. The twelve songs are mini novellas the stories are intricate and full of expressive imagery, the album is artistry.
Opening with Gewndolyn Said, with the beat of a drum the album starts and then the voice that is the core of the album and guitar accompaniment. The instrumentation acts as punctuation, the shading for the lyrics and what did Gwendolyn say, “We put the playground behind us, Pushed the envelope back into our binder” and so much more from her poem Annie Allen. The late New York graffiti artist is celebrated in Hey Keith Haring and celebrates the artform, “You Kept a Sharpie in your pack, You gave graffiti love and gave graffiti love back”. A mini portrait of his life in New York frozen in just under four minutes.
My two standout tracks are The Sea You See is a delicate plucked number. A celebration of family and lineage she is passing on to her daughter. It is a tribute to everyone who leaves their homeland and roots to emigrate as her mother did. It is about chance, changing plans and the loss of not being able to see other people’s experiences and memories from far away. Dear Friend is a strong song. It is a heartfelt open letter about friendship over a distance. Rachel picks and turns over with a gentleness, non-judgemental understanding of vulnerabilities, the journey we all take in our lives.
Throughout this sophisticated album the instrumentation weaves itself with empathy around the clever words stirring up a myriad of feelings and emotions. The mix is used with care whether it is Harmonium, accordion, piano or the refined acoustic guitar chords. They are the perfect soundscape for the journey Rachel is taking us on with her skills as a wordsmith and singer. Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin, the closing track of the album with a darker tone and a calmness as “The whole World Stopped To look at The Sky”. There is a mystery throughout reflecting memories of the first moonwalk fading with “I look at the sky in layers of maroon..”
Rachel Garlin wraps the listener around in a cocoon of colour, textures and a soundscape and stories that captivate your soul.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Gwendolyn Said
- Accordion Song
- Hey Keith Haring
- This Winding road
- The Sea You See
- Colorado Rain
- Up On a Ladder in Boots
- Flying Together
- Dear Friend
- Wink At July