The debut album from the Colorado folk artist of the same name, Lady Moon blends a deep connection to the traditional with a very modern sensitivity for cinematic atmosphere and narrative. Beginning with the positivity of the album opener invoking "Lady Moon" and You Can't Have My Magic's defiance that "you can't buy my soul", the latter half curls into a much darker and more introspective space. Yet even on the songs of sadness, like Wild Geese and She Still Sings, Eva Holbrook doesn't lose her characteristic lightness of touch: somehow turning the most devastating of subject matter into an ode to the beauty of the cycle of life.
Her ability to produce beauty from sorrow owes much to how she places the narratives of her songs in the context of the natural world; juxtaposing personal tragedy against the fragile eternity of nature. These songs feel connected to the land and people of a simpler, gentler time: hiraeth and síreacht (the Welsh and Irish concepts of longing for a past that's too beautiful to ever have existed) seem to form the foundation of this album. It is Lady Moon's subtlety of tone and the development of it during the album that really makes Lady Moon great and not just good. And although it doesn't break any new ground in terms of genre or sonics, that traditionalism is its strength.
The lyrics are what makes this album stand out from the wider folk scene. By combining traditional themes and instrumentation with a very modern discussion of the impact of people on the planet, the album bridges a gap, sounding just as connected to the empathy of AURORA as it is to the folk of Ye Vagabonds or Sam Amidon. Woven throughout the album are lyrics reminding us of the importance of protecting the Earth and one another. On No Medicine Eva sings about how our disconnect from spirituality and the Earth has resulted in us finding "no medicine" in nature anymore. Eva's personification of the natural world is like looking at the world through a magical lens; and it's a magic that stays with you. The representation of the Earth rejoicing in You Can't Have My Magic ("she'll laugh in pretty flowers") I think will stay with me forever as a reminder that there is still goodness in the world.
Lady Moon is an album for when you wish you could escape the modern world and its violence. It’s an anthem for protecting the beauty of nature; an anthem for anyone who is enraged or saddened by the pain that humanity inflicts on nature and each other. It is an incredibly well articulated album that takes you on a journey: from joy to sorrow. But in the end it leaves you with hope.
Lady Moon is out now everywhere on Tone Tree Music