Amy Ray‘s first two solo studio albums (2001’s Stag and 2005’s Prom) featured her southern-fried rock and punk roots in sharp contrast to her contemporary folk-oriented success as half of Indigo Girls. Her new record Didn’t It Feel Kinder, released on her own Daemon Records label, showcases her sharp pop song-writing by exploring new musical territory while still heavily influenced by her coarse rock energy.
Opening with the raw, lush power ballad, “Birds of a Feather,” Ray’s unmistakably rough yet pitch-perfect voice is intimate and strong against the reverb-heavy guitar melody. “She’s Got To Be,” is a smooth, soulful declaration of love without being the least bit saccharine. Collaborating once again by members of The Butchies, songs like “Blame Is a Killer” come alive with a stomping nod to Sleater-Kinney and Paul Westerberg.
A lifelong activist, Ray perfectly weaves social consciousness into her songwriting touching on subjects such as mass shootings on the surprisingly upbeat “Who Sold The Gun” and religious fundamentalism on “SLC Radio.” She explores these and other political issues statement from her unique point of view making each one personal without being preachy.
Amy Ray never disappoints and Didn’t It Feel Kinder is an addictive collection of edgy and eclectic songs.