reviewed by Michael Thomas
Edmonton’s music scene is beautifully tight-knit—there is so much overlap between musicians that I could probably fill a review-length space with the names of bands in which just a dozen musicians play. But the wonder of this scene is that every associated act has its own distinct identity.
Tasy Hudson has appeared on the blog before, as she’s been involved with the music of Doug Hoyer and Faith Healer. Consilience, her own band, isn’t anything remotely like either of her collaborators. Under Our Beds is rooted in a dreamlike state, the piano-driven melodies and flashes of ambiguous lyrics giving the album an air of moodiness and mystery.
Though her live band features members—actively or formerly—of probably 10 bands at least, the album is mostly Hudson, with Jesse Northey on production. The recording feels appropriately intimate; though Hudson is playing a myriad of instruments, each song feels like its own little word, inhabited solely by her. In these worlds she is sleeping, she is dreaming, she is lonely, she is happy, she is looking for a way out, she is falling.
It’s easy to go along for the ride with her. From the hypnotic mix of guitars that begin “Grim” to the emotional melody of “Bad Timing,” there’s a never a time when emotion is not clearly on display.
“Grim” and “The Only Time I Choose” begin with lyrics almost immediately, effectively pulling the listener in right away. The latter is haunting, a song that seems to speak of confusion and having a general lack of options. “Soft and Slow” also needs no time setting up, setting up a piano-rock backing for a song that’s a bit more active in its language: “Stay, stay quiet, stay chased, learn when to run.”
Other songs bring a real sense of urgency, like “Home Soon,” with its steady drums and faster piano playing, which later brings in some proud horns. “Walking Through a Dead Night” has some powerful strings coursing through the chorus, though the feel-good melody is wonderfully jarring next to the lyrics about fading minds.
Hudson is also content to leave some simple but powerful images in the minds of listeners. In “Losing Your Head,” she sings “The windows are black, your fingers are curled, a twist in your neck,” a very unique way to describe a flash of anger. Here the narrator is getting away, just like in “Ride Out,” one of the album’s best songs thanks to its instrumental build-up.
The world of Under our Beds is a good approximation of what we think as children of what lurks beneath where we sleep. It’s an unknown, ambiguous world, but there’s enough familiarity there to emotionally connect us, fears and all.
Top Tracks: “Ride Out”; “Soft and Slow”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)