Across the album, Byrne’s heat vocals and fingerpicked guitar, joined now by lush synthesizer, harp and string preparations, function salves on folks songs that take into account tender moments — an evening at an outdated lodge, a joint lit with the tip of a cigarette — and eternal phenomena, like the lean of the planet or a sky the place Venus shines however the moon doesn’t.
These are songs that present quiet catharsis to hushed audiences. And singing them, it appears, tempers the trials of the street; Byrne has discovered herself energized by her newest section of touring.
“This experience is reminding me how much I love playing shows. I’m feeling really full and alive from that,” she says, including that she stays targeted on “walks and swims and getting better at loving my friends from afar and remaining connected through distance to the people that I love.”
The persistence of affection by way of area and time is especially resonant when contemplating “The Greater Wings.” About half the album was recorded with Byrne’s buddy and longtime collaborator Eric Littmann earlier than his premature demise at 31. And though many of the songs had been written earlier than he died, Byrne’s lyrics typically return to themes of mortality, of a time once we’ll all be “the loving dust of another future,” as she sings on “Flare.” Searching for all times’s truths and which means by way of songwriting will not be a duty Byrne holds calmly.
“After a tremendous experience of bereavement that completely changed my life forever, songwriting and living and working as a practicing artist has given me a space to say that I’m not here for nothing,” she says. (*19*)
Denial of demise is at the middle of the human expertise, and confronting it by way of tune — irrespective of how soothing, renewing and gorgeously composed — could possibly be seen by some as a heavy burden, however Byrne doesn’t expertise it that manner.
“No one is free of this. … It’s part of what makes it all so irreplaceable and invaluable in the moment,” she says. “The value of doing this — of touring and meeting people night after night — isn’t lost on me. It’s exactly where I want to be.”
Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd, 540 Penn St. NE. songbyrddc.com. $18-$20.