Sometymes Why: Your Heart Is A Glorious Machine

By: Dennis Cook

"I'm gonna take you home and have my way with you/ This will be a memory that's gonna stay with you."

Seduction can rarely be consciously manufactured. The real deal fills our senses and inspires unreasonable, perhaps even unwise reactions, but lordy it feels good. Sometymes Why's new album, Your Heart Is A Glorious Machine (released March 10 on Signature Sounds), opens with the above line and then seeps, pheromone-like, into the listener – unrushed, warm to the touch, prickly in captivating ways, expertly executed throughout. Trust me, you're pretty much done for when this trio - Kristin Andreassen (Uncle Earl), Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still) and Ruth Ungar Merenda (The Mammals) – starts working their wiles on you.

There's a gorgeous, subtle overlap to this collaboration that suggests nothing less than an estrogen rich answer to early Crosby, Stills & Nash, where each primary is so strong they'd handily hold the spotlight alone but taken together they're harmoniously lethal, serving consistently excellent material and keeping the arrangements and production airy, their fantastic, character rich voices never overshadowed by any other element. That said, their instrument switching instincts are spot-on, knowing just when to add a shimmer of tambourine, bell toned glockenspiel or heartbeat drum to the largely acoustic settings. Early Joni Mitchell is the easy reference point, but Sometymes Why is tougher, less man-handled, more aware of their power and more willing to use it than that legendary waif of the canyon.

I'd hate to oversell Your Heart Is A Glorious Machine but if you vibe with any of the listed touchstones then you're going to find lots to love here. Each pass reveals a new silken thread to pull, a great turn-of-phrase that wanders off with you into the night or a melody you can't shake and don't really want to. The sheer 'why' of this group is well worth pondering, and like the best lovers, they don't spread out their secrets all at once, drawing us near for pillow talk and low dawn conversations that get at real things with a few tears and gentle kisses.

JamBase | Harmonized
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