Angela Autumn - Frontiers Woman
Angela Autumn has the air of a classic singer-songwriter. She comes to her craft naturally, not via some college music business course but, by exploring her Appalachian roots and upbringing with rare clarity and passion. This is her first full album, following a couple of EP releases—CRASH AND BURN (2014) and RASCAL (2019). Affirming and invigorating, she shares tales of love and loss, some life lessons and those bits she hasn't quite figured out yet too. The songs elicit a growing confidence and clarity of purpose, as well as a new depth of scene.
Then again, the seeds were clearly sown in the firmament of her Appalachian environs. That purity and purpose is evident in every note and nuance as she focusses on both traditional and original sounds, with a style that hovers over the line that separates bluegrass and old-time music. With a voice somewhere between Ms’ Harris and DeMent, the characters she creates swing with life’s ups and downs and, because of the rich details she puts into each story, you will want to go along for the ride.
Produced by Angela and engineered by Kate Holdrup, who also plays drums, this is very much a female orientated record as it traces a strong woman’s journey through life and relationships; the pitfalls, road-blocks and good times. From the moment she hits the first note, Old Time Lovers is the epitome of empowerment, grabbing the listener with a voice that’s as moving as her lyrics. This beautifully haunting song is full of a lonely but hopeful heart, wrought with a sensation that's both resilient and slightly fragile, as she steps out to a new life, much stronger and unafraid. Sowin’ Seeds is a striking bluegrass number that proves the intensity of her emotion, as her soaring vocals tie her to her old-time roots. Angela’s acoustic guitar, Nate Leath’s sawing fiddle and Keagan Justice’s finely plucked banjo capture the urgent longing for a new start alone and a place to settle, as well as the realisation that such comfort may be just beyond reach.
There’s a familiar waltzing lilt to God’s Green Earth, with a bittersweet countrified touch, her folk-hewn side matched by some dreamy acoustic guitar and wistful fiddle, Dobro and mandolin. Though lyrically solemn, Shooter employs an airy melody that’s at odds to the lyrics of despair and desperation. She gives it a heartfelt reading, that nicely captures the sombre story. There’s an easy-going uplifting 1970s West Coast vibe to Texas Blue Jeans. Atmospheric pedal steel and Phil Madeira’s organ lay down the perfect backdrop for Angela’s character development and evocative description as she takes the rustic nostalgia of Americana and combines it with a full-band arrangement.
The songs on FRONTIERS WOMAN transport listeners to the sorts of downstream hideaways and scenic mountain views that permeate traditional country music lore. Combine her unique sound with her vintage style, and the result is an homage to the people and landscape of an America that is fast disappearing … the very foundation about which she sings. The world needs Angela Autumn’s voice, one that belongs to a powerful woman who’s not afraid to put forth her honest opinions, share courageous self-reflections and unabashedly own every aspect of herself, making her voice important, not only for today, but for years to come.