Jolie Holland Springtime Can Kill You

Jolie Holland Springtime Can Kill You
Since the release of Escondia, Jolie Holland’s first studio release, some may have wondered if she would delve back into the murkiness of her preceding album, Catalpa. Having never been meant for an audience wider than her circle of friends, the underground success of Catalpa was impressive. Though poorly recorded by superficial standards, the album, replete with brilliant imperfection, was testament to impromptu recording and to the prowess of the then barely known singer-songwriter. Catalpa invoked the great ghosts of jazz, blues and folk with its stripped-down, quiet, and decidedly haunting collection of songs. Escondia was a crowd pleaser that demonstrated a wider range of sound, but on the inauspiciously titled Springtime Can Kill You, Holland is at her best. Sparse arrangements and lofty to wallowing vocals sing to the light and shadows and reflect the changing seasons. From blossom to eventual decay, infatuation to inevitable heartbreak, springtime is a killer. Holland, from her perch up above it all, sings lullabies and sweetly disturbing tales to help slow the fall. Her words come from and appeal to a subconscious level where thought and emotion are as spontaneous as and no more articulate than a casually whistled song. The music is as intuitive: lifting and releasing the voice, shaping simple but original melodies in slow hypnotic movements. And together they whisper: This life is as good as you’ll ever get and as you’ll ever need, so sleep. (Anti)