sat 06/06/2020

CD: Sera Cahoone - Deer Creek Canyon | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sera Cahoone - Deer Creek Canyon

CD: Sera Cahoone - Deer Creek Canyon

Colorado songwriter channels her roots on bluesy third album

The sounds of home: Sera Cahoone

There are, roughly speaking, two types of record. There are the ones that it is hard to consider as anything other than a complete unit - gimmicky concept records or complex themes, tracks that ebb and flow and blend together as if making a mockery of the single-track-friendly digital future. And then there are records like Deer Creek Canyon, from which any song could be plucked to form the centrepiece of a homely, autumnal mixtape.

And “homely” is the operative word this time around for Colorado-born Sera Cahoone, who on this third album shines her songwriting lantern on the foothills of home. She might now be based in Seattle - alongside the legendary Sub Pop label that helped make her name with 2008’s Only As the Day Is Long - but the roots of her blues-tinged husky voice are unmistakeable. At its most literal there is Deer Creek Canyon the physical place; where Cahoone grew up and where her mother still lives. On another level, however, it’s flecked with the warmth of the banjo, the hills and the leaves and the smell of the dynamite Cahoone’s father made his living selling when she was a child.

Although lacking the versatility of, say, a similarly-pitched Cat Power, Cahoone’s voice aches with a vulnerability and longing. Hers are simple songs, artfully pitched, even where titles like “Nervous Wreck” and “Rumpshaker” might hint at something a little more sensual or torturous. There’s a boot-stomping banjo riff underpinning the latter, sure, but lyrically it’s among the more wistful songs on the album. “I know at the time you meant a lot to me,” Cahoone sings, but it’s the lines between the lines that are the most powerful.

In fact there’s plenty of reading between the lines that can be done here - songs, such as “Worry All Your Life” which seem to begin as clear nostalgia for past romantic loves, could just as easily be serenading the familial by the chorus. Perhaps, looking back, Cahoone isn’t sure what she is missing - she only knows that it’s something she’ll never get back. Like most of us, then.

Watch the video for "Naked" below


Any song could be plucked from this record to form the centrepiece of a homely, autumnal mixtape

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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