Beasts Of Seasons [CD]


Part 1: Communion Songs
1. Shadows Of Parade
2. Come By Storm
3. Spirited
4. Postures Bent

ÔĽŅPart 2: Funeral Songs
5. Funeral Song
6. Where Have All Your Good Words Gone?
7. Sleeper
8. Sweet Deception
9. Glory

Beast of Seasons opens with a hum and drone, a veil of fog conjuring a sense of atmosphere not unlike the 
Pacific Northwest coastal timber town where Laura Gibson was raised. A plaintive strum emerges with a voice in 
tow; a candle, a tender and flickering wisp of a voice suffusing the space with a warm glow. This voice, 
registering as little more than a whisper, rises above the subtle and evocative instrumentation with uncommon 
intimacy. Coos and cracks, chirps and slurs, clucks and purrs all come into focus with perceptive musicality.  

Equally deliberate, and as a nod to the vinyl record era, Beast Of Seasons is split into two parts. Part 1: 
Communion Songs, and Part II: Funeral Songs. "In looking back over these songs, I found two themes 
arising: First, reaching towards something outside of ourselves, be it a lover or god or family 
(Communion Songs) and second, grappling with the idea of ultimate aloneness and acceptance 
(Funeral Songs)." The songs isolate 
distinct and familiar emotions from the many reactions to death, ranging from fear ("Where Have All 
Your Good Words Gone"), and denial ("Sweet Deception"), to brave acceptance ("Funeral Song").‚Ä̬†

As a whole, the record might be interpreted as nine meditations on mortality. This is not to say it is a work of 
philosophy, but rather a group of meditations, or gut reactions to the idea of death. Written from a room in a house 
overlooking the mossy gravestones and mature maples of one of Portland's oldest cemeteries, Gibson notes she 
finished the appear multiple times on this record) Gibson updates the pastoral imagery of Appalachian 
folk and country blues idioms with the landscape of the body. "I feel the seasons changing in my lungs, and I 
recognize grief as a weight in my bones," Gibson explains. On "Funeral Songs" she blurs this line, "Ask no 
greater pardon than the pattern time is carving in your skin." Though each song dances around the theme of death, ultimately, they reflect the urgency of life.