“I'll just bleed so the stars can have something dark to shine in”
- Frank Stanford
The above quote, taken from Frank Stanford's much forgotten epic poem, "The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You," could well describe Lindsay Fuller's artistic mission. Raised in Birmingham, Alabama by an ex-NFL player and a painter, Lindsay makes her peace with the Christ-haunted South by writing songs about the one thing that makes us all equal and honest, death. However, don't be misled; the darkness in her songs is more about bringing things to light than bringing folks down.
Her latest record, You, Anniversary, due out on ATO Records in spring of 2012, is the result of a woman who has spent the bulk of her life trying to tell a story well. The title track is based on W.S Merwin's poem, "For The Anniversary of My Death," in which the poet contemplates the fact that he passes the future day of his death each year unaware. Lindsay's song, a duet with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, heaves a beautiful portrait of someone awake to her own mortality yet frustrated with death's undermining of what she's built.
"I have passed you anniversary, without a wave or a smile
When we meet every year, I am flanked by denial
But I dream of you often, when my heart splits so wide
When the last of my sandcastles bow to the tide"
Lindsay recorded the album live at engineer Ryan Freeland's (Ray LaMontagne, Joe Henry) Los Angeles studio, Stampede Origin, over the course of 3 days with producer Paul Bryan (Amy Mann, Grant Lee Phillips). Bryan cast a rather special group of players to paint the mood for each song: Jay Bellerose on drums, Chris Bruce on electric guitar, Paul Bryan himself on bass and mellotron, and Jebin Bruni on keys. Lindsay plays a raw nerve of an acoustic guitar on every tune but one. Freeland recorded, mixed and mastered the record.
Her deep mournful vocal style, which has garnered comparisons to Patti Smith, Gillian Welch, and Nick Cave, sounds as though it comes from a place of necessity and nowhere else. The result is a rowdy yet affecting telling of stories involving all the things that make the beauty and violence of the human experience so damn curious.
Fuller sings, "Some folks can't help but build a bomb or leave a wake." Indeed.