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Get Well Soon
Sarabeth Tucek Get Well Soon
Released 1 April 2011

Ethan Johns,
Luther Russell
Label Sonic Cathedral
Length 43:58
Genre Alternative, folk
Website sarabethtucek.wordpress.com

Being more than a slight devotee of Bill Callahan's music, although I didn't know it, my first contact with songstress Sarabeth Tucek's alienesque vocals occurred as long ago as 2003 when she provided backing and harmonies, her voice all breath to Bill's baritone, to what must've been the ultra prolific Smog's about fourteenth studio album Supper.

Her second release Get Well Soon is twelve tracks of lamentation and missed chances that only at its end allows its audience a sliver of hope. With a loosely based narrative structure weaving through the mire of emotion experienced during a bereavement, painfully personal details metonymic of Tucek's troubled relationship with her father permeate the album. And yet, subject matter aside, you won't find any forced grand guignol drama here, instead each song contains a lyrical simplicity that doesn't have to search for substance with Sarabeth's sonorous vocals wrapped around lyrics that are no less sad or cynical for their undeniable prettiness. Odes to when absolutely nothing is alright, Tucek’s response to loss seems genuine and raw, ranging from "If you're looking for me, I'll be at the bar", "I knew I was sad, I knew it was bad" to "I can't wait to see you again."

For a relatively green musician (Tucek first picked up a guitar at twenty-six) her early work received a huge amount of attention, with debut single 'Nobody Cares' being held in high regard by many UK music mags in their top tens of ‘07. Get Well Soon stays true to form without really a moment of mistake in its entirety. 'Smile For No One' starts with a musical riff reminiscent of André Popp's wonderful 1967 Eurovision entry 'L'Amour Est Bleu' but transforms into an unsettling countrified ballad within thirty seconds of deft twists, while 'A View' in under two minutes hits hard with as much emotional verisimilitude as Aimee Mann can achieve in five.

Drawing comparisons with everyone from Cat Power to Neil Young and Laura Marling, collaborating with Brian Jonestown Massacre and Smog, and touring with Bob Dylan, Ray LaMontagne and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Tucek has accumulated a pretty complementary repertoire of advocates and has had high praise in too many press cuttings to mention, most of which I can agree with. This is an early album from an artist whose auspicious start holds the seed of a still growing talent.

- Cormac O’Brien