Josephine Foster

Blood Rushing

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After two recordings of Spanish folk songs with her partner Victor Herrero and his band, Josephine Foster returns to songwriting for Blood Rushing, her third offering for Fire Records. Recorded in Colorado with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), Foster’s band on the outing consists of Herrero and Foster (guitars); Paz Lenchantin (Indian flute, bass, and violin); Heather Trost (violin, Indian violin, and jaw harp), and Ben Trimble (skin drums). According to the artist, this recording is a ballet chante (sung ballet), a story within a story, about a heteronym she created for herself called "Blushing." (The Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa had three of these unique identities, and he wrote from their perspective styles all the time.) While the concept is intriguing, it’s the songs and music that will matter to most listeners. Foster pulls one of her magic acts here, combining a range of songs and styles that shouldn’t work together, but in that magnificent voice of hers, are seamless. There are several organic, folk-flavored titles including the beautiful "Panorama Wide," with plucked and bowed violin, Spanish guitar, hand drums, and Foster's voice (with Trost’s backing) hovering, swooping, soaring, and warbling. "Child of God" balances the unmistakable sound of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s "Proud Mary" with gospel and just enough of the Velvet Underground to keep things completely off-kilter. The title track is the hinge piece of the record. Foster sings in the first person as Blushing, her acoustic guitar her only accompaniment for the first verse before being joined by percussion. Trost and Foster sing in the refrain "Her name is Blushing, you can hear her blood rushing…." Violin, Herrero’s electric guitar, and a bass come through all breezy as Foster goes for the upper end of her register and sends it over the top. “Geyser” is whacked-out, post-psych rock with screaming violin, distorted electric guitar, organic percussion, and Foster setting her inner Yoko Ono free. Closer “Words Come Loose” offers a meld of Pan-American rhythms, folk, and rock in a song that essentially underscores the shifting meaning of the lyrics on the entire album. As lovely and sparse as Anda Jaleo and Perlas were, it is Blood Rushing that offers us the most of Foster, as a singer, a singular songwriter, and an artful conceptualist.

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