Thia Sexton is a singer/songwriter with a difference. Rather than tickle a keyboard or strum a guitar, Sexton’s a cellist. And there’s yet another major difference–Sexton straps the cello on sideways just like a guitar and sans-bow finger plucks chords just like she was playing an old Gibson Jumbo. Ever is her eleven track exploration of love’s vast emotional spectrum. And it’s an insightful, creative and highly entertaining trip. Written in the wake of a “particularly hideous break-up” (Sexton’s words) albums of this style have been a staple of confessional songwriter/diarists like Fiona Apple and Alanis Morrisette. But Sexton’s take is more resilient, and frankly, more womanly as she traces a relationship's peaks and valleys–the obsession, unbridled passions and conflicts, even despair and resignation. The armor of wisdom gained at the loss of blissful innocence. Her coy explorations and lamentations about love and loss are bracketed, appropriately enough by two versions of “I Know”, a clever, tuneful post-game analysis about finding love when you’re least looking for it
Sexton’s relaxed but modulated vocals are strong and expressive in the Suzanne Vega or Paula Cole sense. (She considers Joni Mitchell a major influence) And the voice/ cello duets create a gripping feminine/masculine energy that underscores the sexual tension of the songs.
The music is creative, the songwriting assured with arrangements that run the gamut from pure acoustic to spacey electronica. Appropriate enough for an album that explores love’s more treacherous footings and changing conditions is the cello– it’s tuning creates offbeat chord inversions that are to the ear unsteady and consistent with the subject matter at hand.
Produced by Dan Schwartz (who as a musician has worked with artists from Bob Dylan to Rosanne Cash and was a founding member of the Tuesday Night Music Club which launched Sheryl Crow’s solo career) Ever is filled with a potent and eclectic array of studio players. The sonics are spacious with very good imaging and rich vocal miking. When needed there’s solid bass response (producer Schwartz is also a bassist). although they vary from track to track in part because of changing recording venues and engineers. Tired of the same old singer/songwriter routine? Check out www.thiasexton.com