Published Feb 13, 2019It's not often that an album begins with closure, but Beat My Distance starts in solitude, all broken up. "You're on your own from now on," Chloé Soldevila sighs to herself, slightly crazed keys jittering like a pre-weep giggle. The guitars spur her on as she nods to herself, as she walks out and into her own new day. But budding doubt punctures even the first song, "You didn't love me anyway"s filling its final minute.
The rest of the album is spent in the reality of the aftermath: that endings don't actually end, they stick, no matter how far Soldevila tries to fling them. The twinkling reminiscence opf "Daffodil" muses about "another chance" in spite of itself; "Sunshine (Back to the Start)" loops lazily back to the meet-cute, to find that all this aching has hollowed it out. And "Segue" finds Soldevila, wordless, restless, trying to let time heal her.
The melodies themselves sway in the very recent past, their daydreams grounded to now only by blue hearts scrawled in notebook margins. A couple French words in "Vanilla (Here We Go Again)" — all these parenthetical titles just more intrusive doubt — dissipate her further, as she tries to wrench out of old love's cement.
The album closes with, well, a beginning — and a way for all this to actually end. "Only you can take me to this place I love," declares Chloé Soldevila, ready, again, to be taken. (Royal Mountain Records)