Shelby Earl – “Under Evergreen”
A few days ago pop critic Ann Powers sent out a tweet encouraging followers to check out the debut album of Shelby Earl, a singer-songwriter from Seattle. I’m glad I read that tweet. Earl’s song “Under Evergreen” immediately hit me. I played it at least five times in a row. Powers says the track is “a call for Pacific Northwest music insiders to transcend their own assumptions of what’s cool.” But with lines like: “move move move/ and come out from under evergreen/ where roots have grown to deep/ come out from under evergreen/ you’ve gone to sleep” and “can you see beyond the trees,” the song can serve as a wake up call for anyone. It opens with a sweet melancholic melody that sounds similar to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” but Earl’s strong, soothing voice and languid delivery reassure listeners that this isn’t a sad song. Her passion builds with each sway of the music, until the end when she repeats her cry for us to see beyond the trees and wake up from our sleep.