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Abi Reimold - Wriggling (2016)
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Abi Reimold - Wriggling (2016)

11-02-2016, 16:06
Folk | Indie | FLAC / APE

Title: Wriggling
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Sad Cactus Records
Genre: Folk, Indie Folk, Singer-Songwriter
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 37:03
Total Size: 253 MB


1. arranged (2:48)
2. feed (3:43)
3. bad seed (3:40)
4. dust (2:15)
5. clouded (3:07)
6. stain (4:09)
7. machine (2:02)
8. vessel (2:33)
9. sugar (2:09)
10. trap (3:17)
11. mask (3:24)
12. won't clot (4:04)

Abi Reimold's voice is ripe with pure emotion. On her debut full-length, Wriggling, the 23-year-old Philadelphia singer wields her voice like a crooked sword she only just learned she's rather good at using. There are surface similarities to Mitski and Angel Olsen's dark delivery, yet sticking a singer/songwriter tag on Reimold feels like a disservice. She isn't just playing her music; she's living it, and it sounds goddamn exhausting. The album art, an open can of worms—yes, they're wriggling—in tight focus, mirrors her sound well. There's slime, dirt, and awkwardness in all 12 tracks, and hearing her crawl through the tangle to confront depression and self-worth is both harrowing and invigorating. Statements like "Fuck this and fuck me" roll off her tongue mid-song easily and without emphasis, and for good reason. At 23 years old, that's a mantra, not a one-time thought.
Reimold wrote much of the material two years ago when she came into legal adulthood. Wriggling carries that intimacy, the wide-eyed fear of what's to come after the façade of teenagerdom disintegrates, particularly in the record's folkier moments. "An illusion of an elevator: how we create our creator," she sings on "Machine," somewhat hopeless, before continuing: "Grant me my mortality, make me blind so I won't see/ That there's no scheme, there is no plan, we grow where our seeds happen to land." On "Vessel," she claws at her own organs with diaristic imagery ("Perhaps the bolts themselves will tighten/ Sit on my ass waiting for you to ripen") and eventually turns to instruments like pedal steel on "Trap" to create the fullness of a '60s country-rock song.
When Reimold switches to electric guitar, she locks into late '90s alt-rock mode. "Bad Seed" starts full throttle with help from Philly neighbors Mumblr for the rhythm section. Things turn heavier with "Clouded" and "Mask," songs that could easily be mistaken for early Speedy Ortiz demos, as she reverts to thick riffs and sings through a delay pedal for vocal distortion. Throughout the album, Reimold communicates the sensation that she's working through memories in real time, ones that are clearly still fresh enough to punch her in the gut. It gives her songs the feel of being performed right in front of you.
Combining those two styles of songwriting can feel lopsided, but she pulls it off. The mix of rock and folk is soldered with lo-fi recordings of intimate moments: a room's silent hum while someone texts, a passing car whose music can be heard through closed windows, a playground in the distance where children shriek during a game of tag. Those poetic inserts never take themselves too seriously.
Wriggling's darkest moments recall the gloominess of Cat Power's quieter material or Torres' Sprinter. Two-minute track "Dust" finds her beating herself up repeatedly. The song's only two lines ("I will learn what dust tastes like/ I am not immune") change shape each time they leave her mouth. Each repetition is cushioned by new sounds, switching from bedroom guitar strums to guitars overcome with shrill feedback. Like many of her Philly peers, from Hop Along to Radiator Hospital to every self-described DIY band in between, Reimold guards her confessional lyrics with punk attiude, but her delivery sets her apart from the rest. Her voice is just coarse enough to sound painful, but soft enough to sound private. If it weren't for the tender heart beating in her songs, Reimold's music would be brutal. Luckily for us, life has already claimed that title—and she's still in the process of learning that it won't let up anytime soon.

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