Trentalange, the musical project of Crooked Fingers alum, Barbara Trentalange, combines sultry vocals and moody tones to create a thick but welcoming atmosphere on her second solo album, Awakening, Level One. Thanks to hearty vocals and evocative lyrics, Trentalange's music seems well-suited for its rainy Seattle home, or for a saloon somewhere in the old west, where she could freely break hearts and fill dark, smoky rooms with her confident and alluring songs.
Awakening, Level One begins assertively with a staccato tempo and Barbara's captivating vocals. Merely referencing a "dark night" and a fever in the chorus of this track helps to quickly establish a sense of desperation and seduction, both of which fuel the whole album. From here, topics like fear, dishonesty, decay, helplessness, and the all-too-familiar discrepancy between appearance and reality pervade the lyrics. Though something foreboding certainly lurks beneath the surface of Awakening, Level One, classifying the band as either emo or goth rock would be a mistake. Instead, Trentalange avoids veering into melodramatic or sophomoric territory by discreetly mentioning these darker topics and weaving them into its sophisticated, multi-textured sound.