Sonnet Cottage is an inspired and ethereal indie/alternative/folk trio made up of sisters/vocalists Rachel and Torey Russell, and acoustic mastermind Kent Heckaman. Their new album “Another Time” delivers more wisdom than you’d typically expect from just about any release, really, so I could tell very quickly that the group would be a welcome addition to my personal playlists. My favourite track is definitely the title track “Letting It All Go”, with it’s calm, collected, but mourning vocals trading off, urging the listener to drop everything and just be. All of this over beautiful and lush musical arrangements, and the stage is set for contemplation. Sonnet Cottage are serious, both musically and thematically, and this much is evident right away.
“Most Unlikely” is another stunner. It’s almost too artistic and strange to be a single, and this works in Sonnet Cottage’s favour. The vocals and music are typically gorgeous, but the chord choices make the piece especially interesting. “Another Time” once again takes the emotion of the witness perspective. The feeling you get when listening to this music is one of someone watching their life from a distance, neutral and accepting. This is where Sonnet Cottage is at their most intriguing.
“Waiting for Summer” is a surprisingly sombre outing, given the track name, and it’s absolutely sublime. Try listening to this as you walk through the park people watching. It’s the kind of song that makes you see the world differently. Brilliant lyrics and an emotive delivery make for a gut-wrenching performance. Kent Heckaman sets the mood perfectly. This is a standout track…sad and human. “Trail of the Wind” picks up the pace, but not so much as to break the flow of the album. I’m once again struck by the lyrical choices and earnest singing by the Russell sisters, as well as the spiritual quality of the music.
“The Caretaker” is another album highlight, with it’s darkness and hope.
“Another Time” is a stunning release overall and I’d recommend it highly to fans of Sufjan Stevens, Midlake, Norah Jones, Sinead O’ Connor, Radiohead, and Nick Drake. I would also recommend their music to any folks who are inclined towards serious self-inquiry, which some call “soul searching”.
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