Another nice review here.
I suspect that every songwriter dreams of writing a song like “Car Bomb Times.” It’s a triumph of songwriting that matches provocative lyrics with a hypnotic melody. What begins as a quiet folk song built around singer-songwriter Reva Williams banjo and hushed vocals builds into a rich tapestry of harmonies. It is these types of textured arrangements — combined with the tremendous musicianship of band members Williams, Melissa Myers and Phil DuPertuis – that define Boston-based Gretel’s sound.
The band’s remarkable musicianship is the perfect compliment to their stellar harmonies. In concert their “instruments” range from a saw to a plastic bucket to an old typewriter. On record the band expands the palate to include a cello and a variety of horns. Similar to the Low Anthem, Gretel selects the instruments that best serve the song.
At the core, however, are William’s powerful songs. They have a dark intensity that lull the listener with a gentle folk melody and then sting with a turn of a phrase. “I sold my soul in a deal with the devil now the devil wants out,” she declares on “Salt,” a self-proclaimed meditation on the book of Jonah.
Williams finds equal inspiration in the depths of personal relationships. “The world falls apart a few times a day, it don’t matter if you’re ready and it don’t matter if you pray,” she reminds a lover on the half-pleading “Renegade.” It is a mix of strength and vulnerability that, typical of the entire album, is mesmerizing.