Electric Ursa, the new album by Kentucky singer/songwriter Joan Shelley, starts appropriately with a song called “Something Small.” It’s indicative of the whole album, which barely cracks half an hour, with eight miniaturist songs made of delicate arrangements and Shelley’s gentle voice. But around the time you get to the lovely “First Of August,” Shelley’s power becomes increasingly apparent. That’s best exemplified on the album’s shortest song, “Remedios” — the wordless song builds gradually to a graceful peak. My first listen to the album brought back a Garrison Keillor quote that I hadn’t thought of in years: “Such a small joke, but a haiku is small, too. Or a piano etude. The Mona Lisa isn’t that big. There can be grandeur in a small thing.” There is grandeur in Electric Ursa. Listen to it below.
(via Wondering Sound)
Electric Ursa is out 9/30 via No Quarter.