MAGNET’s #20 Album Of 2015: Meg Baird’s “Don’t Weigh Down The Light”

MegBaird

I’d like to tell you how good the words are on Don’t Weigh Down The Light. After all, both on her own and through her associations with Espers and the Baird Sisters, Meg Baird has already proved herself to be strong writer and an astute selector and interpreter of other people’s songs. But every time I try to catch a few more lines, some aspect of the music distracts me. It could be her voice, which is often multi-tracked into harmonies that swerve and swoop like a flock of swallows. It might be the melodies, which unfold with an implacable patience that keeps you hanging on the next note. Maybe it’s the immaculate perfection of her sparse, but perfectly balanced arrangements, or the rich guitar tones. Put them all together and you have music so persuasive that surrender is inevitable. But, of course, the more you spin the more you hear, and behind the sensual pleasures of Baird’s elemental folk tunes are elegantly framed reflections upon the pain of parting and the joys of finding out what comes next. —Bill Meyer