Niki Becker “Intermission”

NikiBecker

By Christine Mlodzik

As I listened to Niki Becker’s new album, “Intermission,” I read this paragraph: After the loss of her dog and a really bad year, Niki found herself with a set of songs about grief, longing, and trying to move on. The songs represented a certain moment in life where everything seemed to be on hold and about to change, an Intermission.

Without even knowing that backstory, I could hear that loss.

“A Story” is the first track and there’s an unmistakable sadness within her voice. “Blind” encapsulates those feelings:

We dance around / we go about town / laughing with the rest of the clowns

And our bed sees the tears / the bed and the bottles of beer / and one another’s ears

….

And your face is still fixed / behind my eyes … it just sticks / it just sticks

So I try to rationalize / just be rational, my eyes / just be blind

The next two tracks, “Walking” and “Pumpkin,” share the same sound. The last, “I Guess This Is Called Moving On,” is a departure from the first four’s sound; it’s deceptively uptempo.

Each of her five songs are beautiful, crafted with a wellspring of emotion and pure unfiltered feeling. There’s also a darkness to each song, yet there’s so much beauty within that darkness.The album’s lo-fi sound is warm and intimate, yet still has a full quality to it. Niki’s vocals and storytelling remind me of Ani DiFranco.

“Intermission” is stunning and will be on at least one music critic’s top album list of 2013. I appreciate a singer/songwriter who has a gift of not only crafting words, but infusing each with so much feeling and Niki Becker has such a gift.

The digital tracks will be available for download on June 4, 2013; Niki is printing only 100 copies of the album.

http://www.nikibecker.com/

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