When my friend Zarni (finally!) released her new album Tidal Wave on September 4, I resisted my impulse to immediately tell everybody to go download it. There was a reason for my hesitation. For Zarni, this was her most personal and most deliberative project ever. She shared on social media several times why she was delaying its release at various points. Pretty much each time she said something to the effect of making it be a perfect representation of what she wanted each song to be. Given that, I wanted to be deliberative, too, about my thoughts and restrain my inner fangirl (that was hard!). I felt I owed her the time and effort her hard and deeply personal work deserved, so I listened several times before reacting.
And with that intro, here are those reactions – in my typical thinking-in-categories fashion.
Perfect Start – Magic. I think I remember Zarni saying that even the sequencing of the tracks was vitally important and if she didn’t say that, I’m going to pretend that she did, anyway, because it is important! And Magic is a great way to begin the album.
Catchiest – is the bouncy, spicy, ear-wormy Itch. It’s also one of the stars of the album.
Hidden Stars – Happy Where We Are and Mine are subtle and beautiful in different ways. The vocal production on Mine is wonderful.
Most Personal? Live Forever. This is the most feelingest song. I kinda choked up a bit. I hope Zarni follows through with her plan to do a “behind-the song” series where she and her co-writers will share the inspiration and stories of each song. This is one I’m really curious about.
Curious-est Lust. Speaking of stories, I wanna hear the deal with this dark, funky bop.
My Favorite – Tidal Wave. I was gobsmacked when I first heard this. I actually stopped the song a few times in the first few seconds because the first few seconds were unexpectedly cool. The production here is amazing – I feel and hear tidal waves! This is a perfect blend of lyrics, music and computer magic. I CANNOT get enough of this song. It’s impeccable.
Zarni-ness with a Touch of Nashville The entire album including all the other songs I didn’t mention. Zarni has always been a wonderful story teller in the sense that even if the stories aren’t stories that I could personally identify with, her songs have always had a knack for transporting me into a world I could imagine myself in. That said, what makes this album different from her others is the Nashville influence that touches some of the songs.
If you still haven’t downloaded or streamed Tidal Wave, shame on you! GO! DO IT NOW!!!