Taken from “Two Years”, out in June via Misra Records.
It’s clear from note one of Emily Rodgers’ new album, “Two Years”: she’s up to something a little different. Different from her past records, but different especially from so many of her contemporaries. In a world of indie-folk sameness, where epic and bombastic are the rule, Rodgers is deliberate and intense, quiet and bookish. And it’s in its very quiet intensity that her music commands a listener’s full attention.
On paper, Rodgers’ music might seem like it would add up to folk or alt-country: A band with guitars, a pedal steel, some fiddles here and there. But on listening, you’re as likely to pick up on an undercurrent of shoegaze, chamber pop, even post-rock on “Two Years”. The violins oscillate under Rodgers’ melodies, more Dirty Three than country. The pedal steel soars. Rodgers’ voice, beautiful and world-weary, echoes.
On “Two Years”, her first album since 2009’s “Bright Day”, Rodgers worked with legendary producer Kramer, who was responsible for the sounds of first-generation shoegaze and slow-core innovators like Galaxie 500 and Low. (Kramer mixed and mastered “Bright Day”, and returned as producer this time around; he also produced two videos from the new album.) It’s fair to look at the album as a product of Rodgers’ unconventional writing — she’s an English professor, and looks to literary sources for inspiration — and Kramer’s sonic genius.