I love watching bands grow. There is something delightful about seeing an artist slowly shape and refine their voice over time, especially when that voice turns out to be something extraordinary. I AM NOT LEFTHANDED are growing up in a really fascinating way. We here at Your Moment of Zen have been obsessed with their work for sometime and now they are poised to take the next leap with their new album "The Fire and the Sigh"
The new songs reach beyond the bedroom quiet of earlier work and expand their sound to a more expansive space. Lead singer Katheryn Williams uses her voice to evoke emotion both good and bad without overtaking the sounds of the band. The opening track, "Brace Brace", sounds as if it taking flight behind the propulsive beat and bass line, which mirrors the fear the author has about jumping into new things. "Return" is closer in sound to their last EP and uses a piano line to drive it's melancholy tale. "Spark" has a creepy bass line and a steady drum fill as the only accompaniment to Williams vocal. By the time the piano comes in you are already deep into the singer's despair, but it's a musically enjoyable moment. "No Time" plays like a elegy to something lost using a hushed vocal to recall love gone awry. When the band really soars is when it picks up the pace on the propulsive "Late Night Drive" and the closing "Falls to Me" (more on this song in a minute). The band even tackles Therapy's "Screamager" by going 180 degrees in the other direction, turning the punk original into a softer, but more painful folk song.
"Falls to Me" is where I see the grand potential in this band. They probably could have remade "Alone" for another ten songs, but "Falls to Me" shows the band reaching for sheer pop perfection. That is not a bad thing. The sheer joy of a song like this one is the ability to see the band in their rehearsal space as the song was born. The guitar line and bass careening together in a steady groove, followed by the epiphany of the lyrics about seizing the moment and making it your own. I could be totally wrong and for all I know it was a song born out of great frustration, but somehow I doubt it. You do yourself a disservice if you don't immediately champion this band and get on board as they climb to greater heights. I for one will enjoy every step of the journey.