Ries' skill as a lyricist is encapsulated on her description of a farmer's daughter in "Holiest Day": "clothes muddy, red-cheeked and reticent." The intensity and the guitars pick up on "You Can Go" and "I See It Coming," a nice change from the generally sedate earlier songs and the haunting closer, "Standing Still." Co-produced by Ries and David Vandervelde, the disc was recorded in the Chicago studio of late Wilco member Jay Bennett and features some of that city's best players.
Raised on Mennonite hymns and Carpenters tunes, the classically trained Ries has clearly come a long way. After earlier collaborations with the likes of Bon Iver and Anais Mitchell, it is clearly now time to reap the rewards of her musical gardening. (Star House)