Cross the Verge
Joanna Serrat’s music shimmers with a brooding sonic elegance behind a slight, almost childlike voice. Her language is dark, colourful, dramatic and oft-times strange, perhaps betraying translation from the original Spanish or Catalan (Serrat is from Barcelona). This is a kind of global gothic Americana, its fountainhead firmly in the imagined spaces, both spatial and conceptual, of the American landscape. The 13 songs, washed in melancholy, pedal steel and hushed vocals, are about loss and loneliness, about going on in spite of it all. At least that is the sense of it. The titles offer clues: Solitary Road, Lonely Heart Reverb, Cloudy Heart, Desert Valley and Black Lake (the latter a duet of gloom with Ryan Boldt of the aptly named Deep Dark Woods). So, craic it ain’t. But, at its best, Serrat’s music glows in the darkness, finding solace in its evocative bleakness.