Wheel was absolutely one of my most anticipated albums of 2013, which has been quite the year for music. I felt an immediate connection with Laura Stevenson from the first song I heard on A Record and have only grown more hopelessly attached over the last couple years. Her achingly beautiful voice and sad, strange lyrics shoot straight for my heart.
Through the first couple listens of Wheel, I didn't quite "get" it. I think I was trying to piece together a concept album of sorts, for a running theme that wasn't there. I don't know what lead me to search- maybe the artwork or the title implied something that circled to me. Anyway, once I was able to get out of my head a bit, I was able to see each track as an individual entity and suddenly the wheel made sense. I found different spokes creating a whole work of art.
I was immediately partial to "Telluride", as a Colorado resident. I have a lot of thoughts and memories associated with the quirky little mountain town and could only imagined what Laura's take on it would be. Indeed "Telluride" is dreamy and ethereal as its namesake.
Stevenson's lyrics are as layered as her vocals and I keep coming up with new interpretations. I'm fighting not to quote entire songs here, but these are a few of my favorite word plays from "Eleonora".
Sleeping on hard wood is harder when you're hardly any good and every sound hits so much louder than it should. Where's the one who'll make the ringing go away?
The album concludes on its rambling, feverish namesake "The Wheel". As it all comes together, Wheel is a damn good album. The subtle, whispered nuances are priceless. Keep listening.