After an excruciating week of weather-related rancor and cabin fever here in Austin, the prospect of seeking refuge in nature versus spending additional time indoors may seem less a transcendentalist fantasy and more the extension of a Kafka-esque sentence. But of course, bitter winter feelings aside, the physical walls of a house do little to confine fires of creativity.
Take for instance Mary Elizabeth Remington, whose bucolic childhood was spent in and around a log cabin near Hardwick, Massachusetts. And while Remington’s Walden-reminiscent upbringing gave her an intrinsic appreciation for nature (a must-have for folk songwriters), those talents didn’t sprout up into public consciousness until she made her first live performance at the 2013 Kerrville Folk Festival. Ten years later, Remington’s ready to reveal a life’s-worth of Americana-folk reflections with her debut full-length, In Embudo.
True to its title, In Embudo finds Remington shacked up across the nation from her Moose Brook origins, in cozy quarters near the Rio Grande in New Mexico. While Sarah W. only had ghosts as company in Winchester House, the Remington’s Embudo HQ was full of life over this LP’s recording session; Remington recruited Adrianne Lenker and James Krivchenia of Big Thief alongside Twain’s Matt Davidson for these eleven originals. In classic folk fashion, In Embudo brushes away the allure of digital and instead embraces the nuanced imperfections of 4-track tape, an aesthetic that (along with plenty of elemental song titles) totally sells us on Remington’s biophilic presence. In Embudo drops this Friday, but if you’re not willing to brave the unbridled, even in song form, at least heed a small piece of civilization. Like Nick Drake and Vashti Bunyan had a lovechild set to CSN’s “Wooden Ships”, In Embudo‘s album closer “Wooden Roads” will lilt you with balmy bongo taps, sanguine guitar, and Mary Elizabeth Remington’s soon-to-be renowned vocals.