Review: Angela Autumn ‘The Magnolia Sessions’

Angela Autumn is a name, I imagine, a lot of the readership won’t have heard of, unless you checked out the premiere we played host to last week, if you didn’t, that’s a real shame. With all of the intense, overly complicated music that has been coming out over recent years, this shining beacon of purity and simple traditional music really has been creating some truly wonderful work. Angela, a Pittsburgh native, who now resides in Nashville, plays honest acoustic folk, with a style and a nature that would popularly be classed as country, but I feel that she really is more akin to traditional Americana, and bluegrass.

Angela Autumn 'The Magnolia Sessions'

Angela herself, an accomplished guitar and banjo player, has a sublimely rural voice, which flits between a soft American twang, and a full-on heartfelt yodel, as she tells stories of love, and life. She only has one physical release that can be purchased, but has such a wealth of live performance videos on YouTube, that if you really wanted to catch the full scope of Angela’s talent, then hitting the socials would be a good starting point.

The Magnolia Sessions, the singer songwriters latest venture, is part of a series of recordings which started in September 2020, capturing a host of different artists, all within the same musical spectrum. Released by Anti-Corp Music, this time it’s the turn of Angela Autumn to show just how fantastic she really is. Recorded in a very DIY nature, simple and uncomplicated, it truly captures Angela in the best way possible.

The whole affair is light and airy, simple, and pure. Its honest nature in the recording really captures everything. From the bugs in the background, to every single strum of the strings, it’s all there. Angela gives an absolute stellar performance, and bares her soul for the world to see. Just listening to the performance has me longing for long, warm, summer days, so that I can have this on the stereo, to really feel at ease with the world.

The eight-track album opens with Champion Berry Picker, a light and airy tune. This whimsical little ditty really captures Angela’s voice beautifully, while also Introducing us to her exquisite banjo playing. Even as a witness aurally, the joy in her playing shines through. It’s upbeat tempo, and wonderful flow, really captures something pure.

Shooter opens with a harmonica and gentle guitar rolling in. This is soon followed by Angela’s intriguing voice, and it’s the perfect accompaniment for summer evenings, its warm and soulful. With its somewhat gentile pace, it really is calming. It also proves, without a shadow of a doubt, just what can be achieved with only a beautiful voice, and sublime guitar playing.

Angela gives an absolute stellar performance, and bares her soul for the world to see…

Western Skies sees the return of that clawhammer banjo, which works so well with Angela’s vocal, it’s absolutely blissful. Texas Blue Jeans is so clear in the recording, that you can hear the individual strings being hit as she plays that acoustic guitar so passionately. It’s a real heartfelt performance, truly putting heart and soul into everything.

Frighten Me, Babe has Angela really showing her vocal range, as she flits between a higher country folk vocal, before dropping in to lower, softer parts, really giving the emotions a tug. At times it feels more upbeat, while at others it seems to purvey a little more urgency. Captain is a really vibrant tune. Again, it’s up tempo, and as Angela rolls the song along with her captivating voice, it’s a joy to listen to, for me it’s one of the highlights, and I keep this one with me, long after the album finishes.

Penultimate track, Lonesome Traveler, is an introspective tune about life on the road, of loneliness, the want for companionship and captures Angela Autumn doing what she does best. It’s an emotional tune, beautifully played, and captivatingly sung. As the album closer Angeline The Baker starts, it seems to pan out into a little storyline, its truly spellbinding and I’m invested right up to the finish. It’s a pacey little ditty, and such a pleasant way to end the set.

Thanks to the beauty of the music, and the quality of the recording, it has me reminiscing about catching live performances, and how much I miss them. It doesn’t have to be a hot sweaty gig in a venue, even catching something so pure and incredible as this would be welcomed. I’m left feeling ready for the summer months, a hopeful return to some form of normality, and being able to catch live performances once again.

It also has me hoping that at some point I will get an opportunity to see Angela Autumn perform, because based on this little beauty of an album, to see such an incredible artist live, would surely be heavenly.

Label: Anti-Corporate Music
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Lee Beamish