June 29, 2016

LP: Alexandra Gordon - Rain Songs

Let Alexandra Gordon guide you through the beautifully bittersweet Rain Songs.

Behind all of the punk and pop-punk that Philadelphia is known for, there are some quiet yet incredible singer-songwriters hiding within the scene. One being Alexandra Gordon, who recently released her sophomore album Rain Songs. The short album is perfectly named and bittersweet to its core as it plays on themes of love, longing, and heartbreak. As cliché as those themes can be, Gordon never falls into that trap. She keeps her music in a realm of its own, seeming to bounce back and forth from a daydream to her reality. I say it’s perfectly named because it’s almost as if Gordon sat down by her window on a cool rainy day and wrote this entire album in one fell swoop. I couldn’t envision a better setting for this album with its sleepy guitars and syrupy vocals. It’s an album of dreams as Gordon’s stream of consciousness guides listeners through seven songs of thinking about what could’ve been, and what her love meant.

“Rewind it like a VCR / Really I would do it all over again,” she pleas on the track “VCR” for a re-do of her memories. All seven tracks hit hard as Gordon relives her pain, but the album isn’t fully heartbreaking. There is a distinct sweetness in the record’s tone built out of her ambition and optimism. Gordon includes slight undertones of acceptance and moving on, that at times find their way to shine on this record. Still with all of this in mind, the thing that most impressed me on this record was its simplicity. The album comes in at a little over eight minutes, making it about as short and simple as you can get. There may not be very much embellishment, but it doesn’t need it. It shows an incredible amount of self-control and skill for an artist to only use what they need to and still create a complete sounding track. To then make songs under one minute, or even two minutes and still have them feel full is even harder to do, yet Gordon accomplishes an entire album. The only real downside to the album’s length is how often I have to keep pressing repeat, but that’s not the worst problem to have.


Listen to Alexandra Gordon on bandcamp.


Amy Garlesky is a philosophy/political science student and freelance writer based in Cleveland, OH and Burlington, VT. Follow her ramblings on twitter @ayygarl.