Hear It First: Kris Delmhorst, ‘Light Breaks Through’

What is the sound of daylight breaking? What is the sound of the sun breaking through hazy clouds following a torrential rain? How does it sound to listen to the promise a new day? The shimmering notes of Màiri Chaimbeul’s harp and Dietrich Strause’s muted trumpet and softly strummed guitar gently usher in the exquisite splendor of a new day on “Reveille,” the opening track on Kris Delmhorst’s new EP Light Breaks Through. Delmhorst recalls, “I wrote this one at the end of a stretch of a three-day rain, an epic, torrential, impossible rain that seemed like it would never end.” “Reveille” carries us slowly and languorously into a new day. Says Delmhorst, “It describes a tentative, somewhat bewildered emergence; a slow arrival at the realization that you’ve come out the other side.”

There’s a magical quality to “Borrowed Place,” a Zen-like meditation on the fleeting nature of life. Delmhorst’s vocals match Chaimbeul’s glittering harp trills note for note, creating a sound like breezes rustling through bamboo, a sound made only more ethereally resplendent by the echoing, swirling background vocals. Delmhorst says that the song “was born as a response to the accidental death of a local teen in my small New England community. Although rooted in grief, the song conjures a sense of pure innocence and deep peace, landing like a prayer of gratitude.” “Each life is fleeting,” Delmhorst reminds us, “but any moment we’re given can be made infinite by the powers of attention, presence, and love.”

The EP’s title track rollicks along, celebrating the joy we feel any time the light shatters the darkness in our lives—whether it’s a sunrise after a stormy night or the brilliance of a new perspective dawning after a bout of depression. Just as the EP opens with a gentle and lush ode to the dawn, the EP closes with a frolicking ballad that revels in the warmth of the sun and the feeling of the wind in our faces. “It’s a straight-up, unabashed jam, made for a stretch of open road with the windows rolled down. This one was pure recreation,” Delmhorst says, “no overthinking, no discussion, just play it how it feels good.”

Light Breaks Through comes as a gift to us. Delmhorst had written these three songs and wanted to include them on her recent album Long Day in the Milky Way, but she couldn’t find a place for them on the album. She decided that the time was right—after all the darkness we’ve been through in the past year—to release the songs. “Back when we were sequencing the album, it absolutely killed me to have to leave out these tracks,” Delmhorst recalls. “But as it turns out, this feels like the right moment in time for them. The songs from the album were all delivered from within darkness, wrestling with it in real-time. These three are written from a place just outside it. It’s as if the album was saying ‘you’re gonna make it through,’ and the EP says ‘whew, I think we made it through’ – not as simplistic as that, but when I step back from these two groups of songs that’s the general trajectory I see.”

‘Light Breaks Through’ is available for pre-order now – HERE.



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