Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Jeff's Best of 2023 - #1: Josaleigh Pollett - In The Garden, By The Weeds

Sometimes you feel like an album changes you on a molecular level. In The Garden, By The Weeds may have done exactly that to me this year.

It all starts with "YKWIM," which has a glitchy music box quality to its intro before rolling directly into an upbeat number with sweet harmonies and an even sweeter sentiment. As the album progresses, it builds on the entire musical theme, with plenty of electronic drums, keyboards, and noisy guitar serving as a foundation for Josaleigh Pollett's gorgeous voice. The album is expertly sequenced, musically deft, and reveals something a little new and different on every listen.

"YKWIM," "Empty Things," "Earthquake Song"... they all give a sort of Laura Veirs-by-way-of Jenny Owen Youngs vibe; the sort of song structure and emotional lift that keeps you hooked while keeping you guessing. Even more transitional songs like "The Nothing Answered Back" shine through with ideas and musical choices that drew me in over and over again.

This was my favorite album of this year for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it made me feel things on repeat listens in a way few albums have these days. It's criminally underheard from a criminally underrated singer-songwriter, and we're truly lucky to have this in the world.

Songs of Note: "YKWIM," "Empty Things," "Bad Dreams (Not Broken)," "cinderblocks," "Earthquake Song," "Jawbreaker," "The Nothing Answered Back"

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