Catherine Feeny - Hurricane Glass
Feeny’s second album is a quiet, and disquieting, delight. If the surfeit of sensitive young women with a bagful of minor chords sends you into a coma, ‘Hurricane Glass’ offers warm respite. Those of us who are finally prepared to admit that we were far too forgiving of Beth Orton’s style-over-content noodlings, that Gemma Hayes was never really all that interesting after all, should fall for this one. Catherine Feeny’s folk-rock endeavour is garlanded with soul, intelligence, fire.
Immediate comparisons with fellow American Kathleen Edwards are accurate and complimentary. Both, by dint of a semi-husky drawl and a lyrical eye for small-town heartbreak, deserve attention in an over-populated genre. Throughout, instrumentation is sparse and tastefully deployed. If this is her touring band, onstage she should be a sensation. ‘Hurricane Glass’ is largely a gentle affair with only a handful of tracks firing into full electric band life. Your attention should be held nevertheless. Feeny has words and melodies to spare. ‘Shape You’re In’, with its nod to The Band song of (nearly) the same name, also approximates that group’s drive and soul. The title track (“I counted all the tiles plastered on my hotel ceiling, Then drank through my two fingers just to see how I was feeling …”) does world-weary with élan. On the closing lullaby of ‘Forever’ she sings ‘You make me beautiful” but there’s a dark twist.
Recent TV and film soundtrack appearances appear to have kick-started some overdue attention ; ‘Hurricane Glass’ originally came out in June 2006 but is now being re-released. Quite right too. An album this good deserves its second chance.