Review Summary: Heaven's a distance, not a place.
Carrisa's Wierd always did play a little louder than the low dynamics of their often one-take studio recordings would indicate on first listen, and always seemed to play a little faster than their actual tempo speeds would indicate as well.
That may make little sense to you initially, I'm sure. But for a particular demographic, I admit, it's true. A song like “Sofisticated Fu
ck Princess” - balls-y, misspelled and surgical-striking title aside - resonates profoundly with many listeners because co-lead-singer Jenn Ghetto sings it as if she is hanging off the edge of a cliff, about ready to let go. You can just about hear her get ready to drop from the sound of the instruments and the lyrics: “So I'll make you one promise that I'll never regret this,“ she whispers with brooding, intense bitterness over an echoing, infectious clean guitar line. “Take a long look inside, because right now I'm leaving you.”
Maybe my beginning two statements of the ghost-like intensity of Carissa's Wierd's music really hits me in particular on Songs About Leaving
. But I'd be willing to wager that anyone who has been through a bitter break-up - or if your life just sucks in general – would agree with me that there's something more going on here that's tangibly bleak and penetrating when listening to this album and the many fu
ck-you(s) it contains.
Take a look at a song like “Ignorant Piece of Shi
t”, one that I wish I'd mastered on guitar approximately a year ago: Not much fulfills and copes angst-y grief like speedy acoustic guitar picking and Sarah Standard's violin alongside whispered lines like, “I like the way you roll your eyes right before you fall down” and “Telling everyone you know, maybe I'd be bad for you, maybe you're too good for me.” The song builds and builds in fervor as emotions and regrets of a failed marriage proposal begin to cascade to a resolute peak. Then, like the subject in question's relationship with an ex, the band cuts ties promptly and ends the recording.
The duets between Ghetto and Mat Brooke on this song and both the humbly wounded “September Come Take This Heart Away” and “Low Budget Slow Motion Soundtrack Song For the Leaving Scene” are Carissa's Wierd's best of their career. But it's the Seattle group's main shtick, this wonderful mastery of a bleak, sorrowful atmosphere that permeates all the songs, that makes what they set out to do on Songs About Leaving
so very well done and successful. Whether the subjects are hurt and angry or, well, hurt and sad, Ghetto and Brooke never fail to rain on anyone's parade that happens to be listening.
For a sadcore album like Songs About Leaving
, that would be the best compliment: this is fu
cking sad. Just read: "Won't tell a single soul that my soul's gone. It's hard to write this song,” Ghetto laments as she pens what could be her fictional suicide note in “So You Wanna Be A Superhero.” It's even more convincing, and sad, when the deed's already been decided in her mind: “It's all a joke. It's all been wrote down by someone that's probably dead.”
The near-tangible, empathetic connection made to listeners through this and other songs makes Songs About Leaving
the perfect accompaniment to any lonely and cold winter's night. For it's true: not everyone enjoys surface happiness all the time, correct? Carissa's Wierd's Songs About Leaving
gives ample evidence that sadness is indeed sometimes just as fulfilling, too.