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Rising folk/Americana star Lara Taubman is on a spiritual quest to shed her pain and heal through her music. Her story in the art world only began around five years ago, and she recently released her debut album, Revelation, to much critical acclaim.
Lara Taubman has repeatedly expressed how music has been her saviour in life over and over again, and the New York-based musician’s new blues-tinged effort represents a major landmark in her journey. The recording process involved a trip to Wolfe Island in Canada, where Wolfe Island Records founder Hugh Christopher Brown took the production helm and brought out the best in her performances. The result is a sharpened signature sound fit with impactful lyrical touches and expertly crafted melodies in the tradition of Joni Mitchell and Gillian Welch.
Starting off with ‘Sound of Heartbreak’, the listener is immediately plunged into that classic, warm Americana sound packed with bouncy fiddles, sliding guitar work, and plucky acoustics. There’s a subdued confidence and sense of purpose to Taubman’s voice; it’s powerful yet reserved, with some sections veering closer to spoken word, or elongating a note here and there for emphasis. Lyrically, there’s an outpouring of insecurity over a fragile relationship and a sense of resignation yet strength to continue on in spite of it. This is followed by the sprightly ‘Desert Boy’ which is a more even-tempo ballad featuring tinges of country through the sweet and soft vocal lines, gentle piano, and gospel-y organ sounds.
One of the strongest cuts is undoubtedly the mesmerising ‘Snakes in the Snow’. This number uses feedback, drones, and wary basslines to court an emotionally-drenched vocal performance. Taubman’s delivery is compelling and haunting, and the worldly instrumentation illustrates her ability to think outside the box.
Closing off the album is the title track which makes for a powerful conclusion. It’s a stripped-down affair compared to the broader pursuits of earlier tracks, evoking a more personal and conversational atmosphere. Thematically, this is more a testimony to her self-acceptance about her emotions and journey in life, with a core message of redemption and continuity in the face of hardship. Short and sweet, it clocks in at a little over two minutes and makes for an excellent closer.
As an LP, Revelation is primarily impressive owing to how short a timeframe Lara Taubman has been seriously making music and involved in the industry. There’s wisdom and thought put into the structures and melodies that others may spend years working to find. This is an excellent start for a debut full-length release.