Kacy Crowley

Moodswing (Fifth Column)

Phases and Stages

Kacy Crowley

Moodswing (Fifth Column) It's probably best not to make much out of the six long years since Kacy Crowley's many times (re-)released Anchorless. One might be inclined to build up grand expectations for the phoenix rising from the flames of label-related bullshit, but sometimes six years is merely a long layoff between albums. Despite her acclaimed debut, Crowley returned to square one after being dropped by Atlantic, working old and new material with weekly gigs at local singer-songwriter haunts like Flipnotics and the Saxon Pub. The resultant Moodswing, produced by Jon Dee Graham, ranges from carefree and saucy to remorseful and betrayed. It also ranges from tremendously interesting to dangerously ordinary. At her best and brightest moments, the Austin singer-songwriter proudly proclaims her love in the beautiful, heartfelt "Kind of Perfect," which is full of striking turns of phrase like "someday these will be our old days, let's make them worth remembering." This sweet anticipation of nostalgia is endearing, and that warmth echoes intermittently, but isn't sustained throughout. "Suspended" holds the listener hostage as it drags on and on, leading only to elevated annoyance, but "Blood" is a gritty, regret-filled self-accusation, and Crowley's voice is an earthy timbre matching the frankness of the material. Ultimately, you might feel like you've just listened to a girlfriend talk about herself for an hour when all you wanted was a hug.

***

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