released December 2, 2012
Nerissa Campbell -vocals, compositions
Matthew Jodrell -piano, trumpet
Desmond White -bass
Guilhem Flouzat -drums
All songs Nerissa Campbell (ASCAP)
Campbell knows the truth contains shadows of darkness. So when she sings of these shadows encompassing the emotive range from despair to tenderness, we are pierced with the poignancy of our mere existence. The album reaches its emotional height with the moody and evocative “Leaving N.Y.” Quiet piano and soft brushes on the cymbal, followed by the bass, lays down the foundation for Campbell's sultry croon “After you where do I go?” Campbell and her band capture the struggle, the desperation, and the anguish of all who have come to New York with dreams of artistic freedom, only to find themselves fighting for survival while the dream remains tenuous at best.
If one thinks Blue Shadows is only a melancholic affair, simply listen to “Powder Burn” or “Don’t Look Back” where Campbell’s voice mischievously coos in simple abandon as the upright bass makes it impossible to resist finger snapping. She coolly sings “let those black birds sing” – but I say silence those black birds and turn Campbell's music up all the louder. The recording is pristine and in those silent moments we begin to comprehend that Campbell has given us a complex and unforgettable masterpiece. -from liner notes by Steven Karl