After listening to Susanna Carman’s new album Circus Girl several times, I’m thrilled the New Yorker decided to settle here in Australia. She creates folk music that is truly stunning, with touches of Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin, along with her own sweet, unique voice.
The album is beautiful in its simplicity. Most tracks only need an acoustic guitar to propel them, and even when a few more instruments are added to the mix they never overpower the tunes. There’s a time and place for a wall of sound, but these songs don’t need the extra embellishment.
With such organic presentation we can really focus on the lyrics and the stories Susanna Carman tells. “Half Of You” may be the most profound song I’ve heard about the love that flows between a woman, her partner, and her new child. The imagery of songs like “Magdalena’s Lover” and the title track is also gorgeous. As someone who gets revved by beautiful lyrics, this album really excited me.
Circus Girl is the kind of album you could easily put on as a dinner party wears down. It has just the right mellow feel, and could so easily slip into the background if you weren’t paying attention. However the more I listen to it the more I appreciate its layers and depth. Susanna Carman has created something truly special here. Look for it in stores on April 2 or preorder your copy from her website.