“The other people who I see, they always make me feel better than when I’m alone in my misery,” sings Charlotte Cornfield in “Mercury,” a swinging duet with Tim Darcy (of Ought) from her sophomore LP Future Snowbird. In this line, Cornfield knows exactly the type of company she wants to keep and it’s with the other people in her life, not the temporary lover now out of focus following a fever dream-like revelation.
This “Mercury” moment is one of many in Future Snowbird where Cornfield’s self-agency shines through and given the messy mistakes, heartbreak, and uncertainties that flood the record, the importance of this cannot be overstated. Her honest vocal performance and bright folk-rooted sound is in part what allows this power to shine through but it’s through her loquacious lyrical style that listeners are able to witness Cornfield’s confidence take shape; we hear the whole story, or at least the parts she’s willing to share.
In both “Aslan” and “Big Volcano, Small Town,” we experience the change from opaque to clarity which ends with Cornfield knowing exactly what she wants. In the former, and album highlight, the frustrating elusiveness of a crush becomes a catalyst for her to demand her “own magic kingdom” (“a room with a window to write in”) and in the latter, she takes a trip to California to reflect on the dismantling relationships with a person and her city, “just ’cause I can.” Even the looming skyscrapers in “City of Giants” shrink down as she realizes, over a beer, that she is in control over her life and will come and go wherever she pleases.
In “No Spook” we hear almost an origin story of how Cornfield’s resolution came to be. Over the course of the track, she’s tosses off the “blanket of nostalgia” and jumps out of the “comfort of a warm bed,” to exclaim, “Oh hell, I’m still around dream catching all of this stardust and writing it down.”
Whatever the future holds for Charlotte Cornfield, even if it is one that includes the geriatric migration pattern the album title references, she is in control.
Top Tracks: “Aslan”; “Mercury”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)