by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com
Ana Egge is no stranger to collaboration. On her last outing, 2015’s ‘Bright Shadow,’ she partnered with the Stray Birds. On her new set, ‘Say That Now,’ she nabbed The Sentimentals, a folk-rock band from Denmark. The Danes provide a wonderfully complementary mooring for Egge’s buoyant voice, whether they’re working through the bluesy rock of “Take Off My Dress” and “Spider” or the folkish country of “Promises to Break” and “Still Waters Run Deep.”
There’s a lot to love about this record, and there’s also a good bit to think about. “He’s a Killer Now” takes the perspective of the 2015 Copenhagen terrorist’s mother in the wake of his death and killing of two others. Further into the set, “Away We Go” reflects on the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by a police officer. And she’s not pulling any punches: “You’re a real-life villain. Yeah, you definitely killed him. Then you took everything that he was and broke it on the TV channel. Justice won’t do it, if you’re not born into it. You can put up your hands behind your back upon the ground and shut your mouth.”
In an era when so many folk singers focus more on the personal than the political, Egge has tied the two strands together in ways that recall Joan Baez from the past and Hurray for the Riff Raff from the present. That, alone, is worth supporting, but Say That Now offers even more.