Review – “early greys” – Chloe Laberge

reviewed by Laura Stanley

I have a playlist that I think is perfect for every season. I’m currently listening to my winter playlist that is filled with snow and ice and broken hearts and as soon as the temperature warms up, I have my spring playlist (entitled ‘Winter’s Come and Gone’ after the Gillian Welch song) full of florals and love. My summer one is sunny and angsty, and my best one, autumn’s, has hints of woodsmoke and wool.

Like my playlists, Chloe Laberge’s early greys – a title she says is “a play on time passing, revealed by the greying of locks. But with it, it is hoped, we are met by grace” – tracks the seasons passing. There’s “the bare winter woods” (“White and Blue”), the birds of spring, the “crickets in the brushed grass” (“I Took a Dive”) and crunchy dry leaves.

The record is a lo-fi affair, Laberge recorded it in the woods with Corey Pool and Ellorie McKnight, and so I want to say that you can hear the world changing outside her window but you can’t. But maybe you can if you listen close enough. What I am certain of is that the trio toss around guitars and banjos and dulcet melodies in a way that remind me of Mountain Man or Julie Byrne.

early greys is about love. Having, losing, and questioning love. On standout “Blackdog,” Laberge (and Pool) sings of independence and the ending of a relationship (the line “he warbled in the spring, I warble in the snow” is particularly telling) but by the following track “Timber,” love has rekindled and blooms no matter what season it is. On the minute long closer “Seasons,” the seasons pass in a blink of an eye but so much has grown has in-between the snowbells and the snow. Winter is a time to reflect on all of these changes.

I’m a sucker for timeless sounding folk music and so early greys ticks all the boxes of what I look for in a record: warmth, poetry, and mother nature.

Top Tracks: “Blackdog”; “Seasons”

Rating: Proud Hoot 
(Really Good)

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