Considering how traditional pop-rock is no longer commercially viable (and let’s face this hard truth, puh-lease), we should celebrate this state of affairs instead as it guarantees that – most of the time – new music made in this tradition is going to be genuine and true to the artistic vision of its creator/s. Case in point: Gretchen’s Wheel.
Consisting solely of singer-songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Lindsay Murray, Gretchen’s Wheel has operated as Murray’s musical vehicle to express the art and craft within herself.
On this, her third album, Murray self-produces a solid collection of pop-rock songs with the collaboration of Ken Stringfellow (Posies), Andy Reed (The Legal Matters, The Verve Pipe) and Fernando Perdomo.
The album is entitled Sad Scientist which reflects Murray’s own perception of her art and craft – a “sad science”. This theme permeates the album through Murray’s plaintive vocals, her melancholy tunes, sympathetic arrangements / performances and thoughtful lyrics.
On “Save the Day”, an almost atonal chorus intones – ‘Does everyone feel like there’s something they missed”, whilst on “Out of Your Hands”, Murray wistfully muses, ‘Can you discern the places you’re not wanted/Can you figure out what went wrong” and there’s the insistent “Disintegrate”, where the self-aware narrator sings, ‘ this defeatist attitude is problematic’.
Not very aspirational, is it? And why should it be? Especially when this sophisticated music is not made for ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ hipsters but for those of us who have ‘been there, done that’ and are just looking for music that reflects our shared experiences.
‘We are having the same dream/Variations on a theme/We are singing the same song/In a world where we don’t belong’ – “Same Song” strikes us as the perfect anthem for the people Gretchen’s Wheel will appeal to, which we suspect is most of the folks who visit Power of Pop on a regular basis.
Sad Scientist is for each and every one of us!
… still there’s more …