Published Aug 29, 2014There are some artists that seem to exist on a separate plane from the rest of us. They observe, they connect and they see the world surrounding them with a deeply-felt clarity and acuity. Jennifer Castle is one of these artists. On this full-length follow-up to 2011's acclaimed Castlemusic, the Toronto-based folksinger once again gives us a brief window into her world, one that's entwined with the dark, ineffable push and pull of nature, love and the complicated creatures — human and animal — that surround her.
Pink City kicks off with "Truth is the Freshest Fruit," a rumination on summer love in the shadow of the Summer of Love, where hearts could be found in San Francisco and your lover's birth month carried a heavy weight. Castle stretches out the word "stargazing" in her light, languorous alto, and as well-chosen strings (arranged throughout by none other than Owen Pallett) swell behind her, it feels like a dark supplication to the hidden workings of the universe. The rest of the record oscillates between weightiness, poetry and light, from the uptemp "Sparta," which balances a groovy Small Faces-y flute line with delicate slide guitar to "How or Why," which details sweet shared moments between host and houseguest: meals, happy dogs, a struggling garden. "I don't know how or why/ But this is my life," Castle sings. It's a life we're lucky to see through this gorgeous album, however briefly. (Idée Fixe Records)