Shelby Earl: A Sweetly Sour Sound

A bittersweet ode to the end of an affair, "At the  Start" nevertheless finds Shelby Earl sounding defiantly triumphant. i i

A bittersweet ode to the end of an affair, "At the Start" nevertheless finds Shelby Earl sounding defiantly triumphant. Carey Denniston/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Carey Denniston/Courtesy of the artist
A bittersweet ode to the end of an affair, "At the  Start" nevertheless finds Shelby Earl sounding defiantly triumphant.

A bittersweet ode to the end of an affair, "At the Start" nevertheless finds Shelby Earl sounding defiantly triumphant.

Carey Denniston/Courtesy of the artist

Friday's Pick

Song: "At the Start"

Artist: Shelby Earl

CD: Burn the Boats

Genre: Folk-Rock

It doesn't seem right to make a big deal out of John Roderick's presence on Seattle singer-songwriter Shelby Earl's twangily angst-ridden new album, Burn the Boats. Sure, the Long Winters frontman produces the record — and functions as a low-key, secondary duet partner in the languidly gorgeous "At the Start" — but this is Earl's show all the way. Still, if his role brings attention to Earl's sweetly sour sound, then so be it.

An ode to the end of an affair, "At the Start" finds Earl sounding defiantly triumphant, with Roderick dropping his guard to play the crestfallen. "We're right where we've always been," they sing together, adding, "At the start, we could see the end." It's the one who got away and the one who got left behind, singing together beautifully in just one highlight from Earl's warm, wonderful new record.

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