Published Jun 04, 2019How can grief sound so gorgeous? Nevada City, CA singer-songwriter Mariee Sioux deftly pulls off that dichotomy on "Baby Wave," a key track from her gently strummed and sung new LP, Grief in Exile. Dedicated to a friend who took her own life a decade prior, the song features haunting lyrics like "And even boat arms could not save… An alien silence crept over the wild life / When you took yours," sung by Sioux with pretty melancholy.
Described in a press release as "an account of how Native American ceremonies and plant medicine helped her recover from alcoholism and depression," Grief in Exile certainly harbours plenty of cathartic moments for listeners. Piano and guitar fall more softly than summer rain, for instance, on "Black Snakes," as Sioux sings in a haunting, galled tone. "Coyote With the Flowering Heart," meanwhile, features fret-picking akin to intimate caresses, not to mention angelic singing.
Then there's "Behind the Veil," on which Sioux's feather-light, lilting voice is backed up by fluttering wing like acoustic strums. And be sure to brace yourself for her subdued, yet riveting, speak-singing on the title track's bridge, which she then jarringly contrasts with a wind chime-like higher register on the chorus.
By juxtaposing her agony with such beauty, Mariee Sioux not only appeals to listeners' ears on Grief in Exile. She also successfully touches our hearts. (Night Bloom)