In a Nutshell: Kayleigh Goldsworthy “Burrower” Album Review

In a nutshell is halfway between my “first listen” and full album reviews. I listen all the way through a record ONCE and spew my thoughts…here is what I thought of Kayleigh Goldsworthy’s new record “Burrower”…

 I first heard of Kayleigh Goldsworthy at this year’s campfire. festival at Club Passim in Cambridge. I’ll be completely honest, the first thing that struck me was “wow, she’s cute” and then she sang, I went “wow!” and I was convinced that she had “it”. Her ability to captivate the audience with her voice, guitar, and stories was uncanny and each and every song was better than the last. I was hooked.

Goldsworthy has a very fresh and spirited voice. She has a very pretty and pleasant tone to her vocal, it would sell great commercially, but also stands up strong in one of the best listening room’s that the Northeast has to offer. A balance that seems almost impossible, but she nails it. There are small hints of punk in her indie-folk sound, which is a welcome juxtaposition. The annunciation of certain words makes you think, “hmmm she probably listened to some Bad Religion, Social Distortion, and Fugazi in her day…maybe she has a few tattoos?” but the folk and country influences stand out most strongly. Loretta Lynn meets Joan Jett? I dont know where I am going with that, but you get the point…she creates thoughtful folk music with a bit of an edge, and I dig it.

“Burrower” features 9 great tracks (I love these 9 track records, a great choice!) laid on a palette of traditional American roots instrumentation. Great playing cast over a blanket of great storytelling with smart production choices make for a really excellent listen.

The first track “Spark” is an example of that “punk meets folk” feel for me. The proclamation of certain phrasings really have that “I’m kind of pissed and you are going to listen” punk vibe. Well, Ms. Goldsworthy, you have my attention.

As the record spins on, the punk influence dwindles and country and bluegrass sounds begin to sneak

in.

“Where the Summer Goes” is an upbeat, yet sorrowful tune with a bit of a bluegrass feel. The banjo makes a nice appearance throughout the three minutes. This is my favorite of the bunch. It wastes no time getting into the song, has some great elements, the vocal work is flawless, the instrumentation is fun, and its a downtrodden tune with a bite (see: “now its your fucking loss“…you go girl with droppin’ the f bomb!). Anyone can write the word “fuck” into a song, but it takes some conviction to make me believe it, and believe me, I am convinced…

riding by the river, don’t know where the summer goes
or why you stay the night and then you left me all alone
All together this is an EXTREMELY strong solo effort from Kayleigh Goldsworthy. She envokes hints of another one of my favorite lady singer-songwriters, Jenee Halstead, in some of the more country inspired tunes. There is a great mix of songs, emotion, and feel in this records short 9 tracks. I will be listening to this again and again and enjoying every second. I really hope to see this young lady swinging back through Cambridge sooner than later.
Check out “Burrower” on bandcamp and buy the damn thing!
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