Canadian singer songwriter Sarah Jane Scouten’s new album Confessions, takes us on a journey into the dark side of her heart, with some beautifully bewitching results.
Opening song Dark Side sets the tone both musically and lyrically – with its rockier sound it feels like a move away from her previously more country inspired work like on her last release When the Bloom Falls From the Rose.
You Are The Medicine is a folky ode to how real love can save you from the darkness of your past. It’s a simple idea but the honesty of her delivery makes it one of the most emotional moments on the album.
There’s a real edge to some of these songs like Breaking and Entering, with guitars echoing in the background like an approaching storm. I’m A Rattlesnake is another swampy rock song, about fighting back and finding your bite.
Memories of family and childhood seem to inspire some of these songs, like You Still Love Him, Kid and Show Pony. On Pneumonia (To Love) she bravely explores her identity, contemplating the impact of past heartbreaks on her present.
Poison Oak is a gorgeous ballad, probably the most classic country sounding song on here and this style really suits her voice. She also includes a bluesy version of her old song Ballad of a Southern Midwife, which is fitting since a story like this one about intolerance and oppression feels as unfortunately relevant to women’s lives today as ever.
The album finishes with the folk song Crossing the Bar, a sunset moment inspired by the Alfred Lloyd Tennyson poem about mortality and mourning. It’s a poignant and quietly powerful way to end the record.
Overall Confessions is another album of intriguing and enjoyable songs from Sarah Jane Scouten. Now resident in Scotland you can catch her playing live in the U.K. and Europe next year.