Pi Jacobs is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles whose 2017 album A Little Blue earned her a pretty decent fan base both in the States and in Europe. About the new album Two Truths and a Lie, Jacobs said, “The idea was to pay homage, in song, to normal, everyday women doing extraordinary, brave, and inspiring acts.” It doesn’t take long to figure out that she succeeded in doing just that.
“Rearview” plays out like a short film set to music. It tells the story of a woman who leaves a bad situation behind and looks to start over again – even dying her hair and changing her name so a certain someone won’t find her. It’s a song that is both poignant and pretty with a beat by Butch Norton that will get your toes tapping and a melody that would make this song perfect for a movie soundtrack.
You know you’re in for a treat with “First Thing Tomorrow” when you hear the lyrics, “I’ve been drunk since the election trying to make it not be real.” In addition to the twang of the Dobro by Adam Hall, this song features a banjo part that brings bands like Chatham County Line to mind. Meanwhile the line provided by Zack Hall on the upright bass sounds inspired by The Wood Brothers. The theme of this song is pretty heavy, but that heaviness is countered with a catchy melody and lyrics that are easy to sing.
Another strength on this album is Jacobs’s ability to write about sympathetic characters that anyone can relate to. “No Sin To Be Poor” is a good example. The melody of this one powered by Carl Byron’s piano and the beat – has a similar feel to Sturgill Simpson. The character in this song is a woman who works three jobs, takes care of her kids, and pays her rent on time, but still waits in line for food stamps. “Waitress Blues” is another song that can be related by anyone who has ever waited tables. Over a pretty spare melody, the narrator sings about her feet hurting and wanting the last table to leave. While the rhythm section stands pretty strong, it’s the resonator that comes to the forefront. This song is a real slice of life that could become an anthem for waitresses everywhere.
This is a beautifully-crafted Americana album. With her lyrics, Jacobs creates vivid images on par with masters like Tom Waits. She makes you feel like you’re a part of the story that she tells. Two Truths and a Lie (Travianna Records) will be available everywhere on February 21. Order your copy here.