No Way There From Here
Shoeshine Records UK / Thrift Shop Records US
The all too infrequent, for us, recordings by Laura Cantrell are the cause of major joy at Outsideleft, imagine our unbridled excitement then, the first time we dropped the metaphorical needle into the groove of Laura's No Way There From Here. Oh wow! An all-star staccato drums, shakers, twangy guitar melodious melange. Look, I know reviewers tend to leave their, is there a word for it, their sort of all wrapping up summation to their final kiss of a sentence right at the end. Is there a name for that? In English? So you don't really ever have to read all of their aggrandizement and waffling about their knowledgeability of their subject and personal qualities qualifying them as if credentializing their opinion. And all that. No no no. We're going to put it right here at the start. If you only buy one country inflected pop album this or any other year, let it be Laura Cantrell's No Way There From Here.
It begins with the seriously insidiously winsome and conversational conversation piece... "All the girls are... Complicated!" Aren't they just. "All the girls will work you hard..." A song of some affirmation for women and men and girls and boys who just like women and want to know them. I could talk about this song all day to anyone who'd listen. Oh Wow! At the end of those three exhilarating minutes of pure country pop honestly I am asunder with wonder. How does she do it? I had to take the record off and ponder my own question for some time.
It's redolent of every tuneful situation I've had in the Departure Lounge.
Recording the album in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, and featuring some of her long time country cohorts - Jim Lauderdale, Caitlin Rose, Kenny Vaughan and others, Laura says, helped her maintain a balance "between country traditions, southern sounds and the sonic territory each of these songs wanted to inhabit."
The entire album is fitted out from pillar to post with instant classics including the darkly joyous west-coast-country ish (what do I know?) 'Can't Wait' - you know that feeling, longing and maybe longing a little too much. Put me in mind of Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven. Anyway, when Laura moves through the unselfconsciously unadulteratedly beautiful Someday Sparrow. Oh, Oh, Oh. It's like a musical Danny Welbeck backheeling one in for England. I feel similarly overjoyed.
No Way There From Here has been honed to a sophisticated simplicity that's a sonic delight. Her voice. Her musical manners. Did I say breathtaking yet? While we loved Kitty Wells Dresses and are pleased to hear that she's been back at the bank getting some work sort of this is an Oh wow in life! Her first album of original songs in 8 years... It's worth repeating that Laura previously sang our all-time #1 favorite stalker anthem of all time, '14th Street.' (About Richard Hell, I hear...) No Way There From Here already sounds as divinely distinctly dee-lightful wrapping us up and asking us to remember to think about who we are and who we love. I think. It's a very pretty thing and well worth the waiting for despite us never really wanting to wait for a new Laura Cantrell song ever at all.
All Laura all the time at outsideleft!
Live At McCabe's Guitar Shop
Making Hay at the El Rey
Our New Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (an Alex V. Cook Interview)
More info at LauraCantrell.com