Jennifer Castle’s Monarch Season is as dreamy as it gets.
Castle, a Toronto singer-songwriter, crafts graceful folk-inspired tunes that are richly influenced by the moon, the nature of relationships and of course, monarch butterflies.
Her voice, which is usually treated with a healthy dose of reverb, is beautifully reminiscent of the vocals of Marissa Nadler and Michele O’Malley. It’s filled with both a softness and a wounded plaintiveness simultaneously, driving the emotion of each song deep within your heart.
With “I’ll Never Walk Alone,” for instance, Castle sings the lines “for better and worse, in sickness and purse and some say this darkness ain’t playful but I’m as dark as a pupil in the eye of a wide eyed and cherub faced angel” like a true veteran of heartbreak that hasn’t yet lost her romanticism.
The lyrics on the album are poetic and yet somewhat blunt, recalling the songs of Mark Mulcahy (the harmonica work on this album is also very reminiscent of Mulcahy’s tunes). Meanwhile, the mellow tempo that remains constant throughout the whole record coupled with the extensive use of echo effects and the backing of live recorded crickets and other night sounds together give this album a soothing astral-like vibe. Castle recorded this album with all of her windows open at night, while watching the reflected moonlight on Lake Erie (as mentioned in the liner notes), and this atmosphere truly comes through in the music.
If there was ever an album born to ease one into a peaceful state in the evening, like a collection of lullabies for adults, it would be Monarch Season.
Get your copy of this gorgeous release right here.