There’s a lot about Kim Richey’s Rise that is intriguing. All of it seems to circle around the balancing of playful and contemplative moods. The lyrics, the instrumentation, the arrangements — all are means to that intriguing end.
She sits a song that reminisces about the greatest show on Earth (“The Circus Song”) right next to a haunting ballad that struggles peacefully to hold on to the memories of a love affair (“Fading.”) The mood shifts dramatically between the two, but it’s OK. It’s real. It’s so much how a heart beats and how a mind thinks that you don’t really notice.
The timing of an album’s release is always interesting to watch as well. In the same way Sheryl Crow’s C’mon C’mon was a perfect spring/summer listen, Rise hitting the streets in October can’t have been a coincidence. The crisp air and shimmering colors of autumn bleed into the quietude and introspection of winter in the same seamless way these songs flow into one another.
The really cool thing is that these tunes are a total grab-bag of styles, rhythms, and attitudes, like a game of musical Tetris being played from track to track. Producer Bill Bottrell guides the pieces with a careful and creative hand, making each song excitingly unpredictable, both individually and as part of the collective soundscape.
If you’ve never heard Richey’s work, come on in, the water’s perfect. If you have heard her previous efforts, forget what you know (no matter what that is) and dive in too. Rise is sure to please even the most fickle listener.