To close my review of Bird Feet’s 2016 EP Saturnine, I wrote, “throw on Saturnine next time you’re pissed off and you may find some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.” I’m happy to say that I can give you the same advice for listening to the latest EP from Dawson City/Toronto’s Kimberly Edgar.
Recorded “in various hotel rooms in India” with only Edgar’s ukulele (heavily disguised throughout) and trusty garageband, Patina makes me think of the down periods during a vacation. The times when you’re lying on the bed in your hotel room trying not to think about how many other people have done the same thing. In this position, Elizabeth Hardwick’s words from Sleepless Nights ring the truest: “When you travel your first discovery is that you do not exist.”
Edgar, in turn, is trying to assure themselves that they exist and does so with languid, placable melodies. There’s brutal imagery here like brains melting on pavement (“Chains”) and the world tossing you aside (“Queen of the Forest”) but “Train Wreck” nicely bridges the brutal and the beautiful. This train wreck means the demise of two lovers but Edgar insists: “our love will dissipate and settle like a dust into the trees and the sidewalks and the fields to be picked up, picked up, picked up.” They will always exist.
On the standout track “Sick and Tired,” after a meandering psych-trip, Edgar’s voice emerges from the tie-dye swirl to sing: “Do you ever hate the sound of your own voice? Do you ever get sick and tired of your own face? You’re not alone, you’re not alone.” The song is freckled with the harsh strums and plucks of a ukulele but it still offers one of the most comforting moments of the album. Comforting like the astral freckle pattern on a loved one’s back.
You are not alone.
Top Track: “Sick and Tired”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)