reviewed by Michael Thomas
On her second album as Rooms, Beshéle Caron is showing she’s a master of quiet fury. For the most part on the epically named You’re like the wind, a big gust of nothing, she’s taking aims at big problems but not yelling about them or being overly caustic. In fact, on some songs she’s even singing about the value of being quiet.
Caron’s quiet demeanor is what makes this album hit so much harder. It’s less standing in a park with a microphone than tapping you on the shoulder and whispering in your ear. What she whispers could be motivational (“Arm Muscles”) or resigned (“The Rumbling”) or swooning (“You Said I Love You”) or sentimental (“How Rocks Form”).
How Caron expresses these feelings can sometimes be complex. For instance, there’s a certain literary feel to opener “Synonyms,” in which Caron focuses intently on someone’s moving form as they type words. Many odes have been written about people’s bodies but she may be the first to describe that particular motion. In “How Rocks Form” she admits to “always studying your silhouette,” another interesting way to express deep-seated feelings.
Given the “workers” tag on the Rooms Bandcamp page, “The Rumbling” most fits that particular tag, like “Organizing Hurts” did on It takes a lot to show up. “The Rumbling” feels much more melancholy than the other despite retaining the grunge-pop sound of Rooms; it’s a sigh of resignation as a building (maybe more?) goes down, with its tenants given only two months’ notice.
The value of silence vs loudness comes across in two songs. “The Right Thing To Do” at one point has Caron singing “We talk so loud and nothing gets done.” And in “Be Quiet,” Caron has written a song that should be the theme song of all introverted people. We’re not quiet because we’re sad! We’re quiet because we have nothing to say! The chorus hammers this point: “So be quiet, ’cause I don’t want to hear it/If you don’t mean it.” That powerful little phrase also gets backed up by a brief swell of sax and it just drives the point home even harder.
In “Move Over,” Caron sings of a relationship (friendly or otherwise) in a stall: “You don’t stay, you never go away either.” But elsewhere, Caron can be motivating. The short “Arm Muscles” is a standout because it’s surface-level a song about riding a bike but really could be about anything. It’s incredibly sweet to hear Caron repeat “Don’t give up because it feels really good to keep going/Don’t give up ’cause pretty soon you’ll be so good at it.”
To use another metaphor, You’re like the wind is the kind of friend you need—it’s the one that gives you constructive criticism when required, motivates you to be your best self and holds you hand when things are rough for you. And we all need a friend like that in our lives.
Top Tracks: “Be Quiet”; “The Rumbling”; “Arm Muscles”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*