Themes of death and loss dominate, set to slow-burning country-rock and roots music with reflective piano melodies
What goes unsaid in Blackbirds is almost as fascinating as what Nashville veteran Gretchen Peters sings, her voice a languid ache. What prompts the Cain-and-Abel act of rural American fratricide in the murder ballad “Blackbirds”? (Two versions are included in the album, an acoustic one and a rock one, an atmospheric doubling.) Why does the narrator of “House of Auburn Street” exult to see her or his childhood home burn down? The music is slow-burning country-rock and roots music, all lightly plucked banjo, reflective piano melodies and dark riffs, the measured tempo making every second count.
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