Boomkat Product Review:
Black Twig Pickers and House And Land's Sally Anne Morgan endeavors to create new folk forms on 'Carrying', evaporating Appalachian folk traditions into warm, personal songs that dig deep into the emotions surrounding the birth of her first child.
For Morgan, songwriting is a spiritual process, a way for her to connect with her deepest feelings and connect to the wider world. 'Carrying' is a reflective record, made while she went through a number of significant life changes, but it's far from glum. With help from Pelt/Black Twig Pickers drummer Nathan Bowles, guitarist Andrew Zinn, Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and bassist/engineer Joe Dejarnette, Morgan reimagines well-worn folk tropes, playing guitar, fiddle and banjo and singing emphatically of her experiences. The songs are lavishly orchestrated and engineered, reminding us of Will Oldham's tight, tidy arrangements, but still embody the homespun charm of vintage Americana.
'Dawn Circle' is an early highlight, a lengthy jam that accentuates the unique qualities of Morgan's expressive vocal delivery. Playing intricate guitar riffs alongside Bowles' boxy rhythms, Morgan freewheels into impressionistic harmony. She comments that her process is almost religious, and the influence of praise songcraft is intensely apparent here. The instrumentation isn't always particularly traditional either; Matthew O'Connell adds synthesizer and tape loops to the elegiac 'Streets of Derry', a song that starts off simply enough but rolls into sublime, euphoric ambience.