I much prefer Jessica Lambert to her performance name Her Silo which musically, means little. This Pacific Northwest artist’s debut – the 10-song Don’t Forget The Heart That’s Beating (Independent – drops Feb. 21st), recorded in Utah & produced by Joshua James explores anxiety, depression, human experience, insecurities, loneliness & all those other stings of the heart many suffer from every day.
Ms. Lambert bravely turns her own angst into effective tunes. However, she should move to a sunnier climate or visit NYC the way Hibbing, Minnesota’s Bob Dylan did in the early ’60s. Look what that did for his career.
The bulk of songs explore desperation. Past artists further back than Ms. Lambert probably remembers braved that: Alanis Morrisette, (Ms. Lambert resembles a little without effects). Decades earlier the inventive Dory Previn dared journey into lyrics about child abuse, roaming hand uncles, depression, a husband who left for a younger girl (Mia Farrow) — covered in “Beware of Young Girls.” The suicide jump of an aspiring actress off the Hollywood sign “Mary C Brown.” Compelling stuff. Jessica’s songs are also compelling, they’re painfully personal.
“Flood,” has an intriguing melody though tainted by effects. The song’s prickly drama doesn’t need it. It suggests an inability to sing. Jessica’s voice is good. It has the tone & power required to carry off the requisite melancholy — naked, by itself.
Deep-six the F/X. Or, use sporadically, as a means of emphasis. “Bring Me Down,” is powerful & the effects more wisely used on the back-up voices. Jessica’s solo vocal keep pure. Her presence would be more sincere. Her natural voice is apparent on “Lowleenest,” – (“Loneliness,” maybe?). This is a beautiful ballad, paced well, with atmosphere.
Joshua James (guitar/piano), Evan Coulombe (lead guitar), Ronnie Strauss (drums), Stuart Maxfield (bass) & Aaron Child (cello). They lay down a moody This Mortal Coil, Prayer Boat, Blue Nile type lo-fi melodic weave through the showcase.
“I Don’t Need Saving,” & “Anchor,” are both excellent, beautifully rendered slow songs hampered in part by processed vocals. Jessica’s voice is good – no tweaking. It reflects the style of other female vocalists & is not necessary. It’s fine to fill an LP with primarily a brittle veneer of fragile tunes if performed well. “Rise & Fall” is closest to perfect with piano, & pure vocals.
“Weight, (Goddamn)” is rockiest but – filled with effects again. It has a near-Patti Smith ballsy spirit – don’t lose that. More vocal aggression would’ve made it dynamic. The only tune that earns an effect: “When Did I Give Up This Fight.” With its tinkling piano, an uncredited harmonica — all exceptional.
Ms. Lambert needs to listen to the late Nick Drake’s purity. She has much in common with him.
My CD had no artist name or LP title on its face. Elvis & The Beatles can do that, but an independent needs a name on it. The 38-minute CD is available at Bandcamp; her website is: https://hersilo.com/