Review: Water for the Day

Given the album title’s ambiguity and the multitude of possible meanings, its origin should come as no surprise.

I was told I was saying in my sleep,Water for the day! Water for the day!'” singer-songwriter Shelley Short revealed on her myspace.com profile.

Shelley Short

Water for the Day

Hush Records

 

Rating:4

 

Given the album title’s ambiguity and the multitude of possible meanings, its origin should come as no surprise.

I was told I was saying in my sleep,Water for the day! Water for the day!'” singer-songwriter Shelley Short revealed on her myspace.com profile.

Appropriately,the rest of the album follows suit,weaving Short’s country-esque vocals with folksy melody to create an 8-track dream sequence. Luckily for us, Short herself willturnthe dream into a reality Saturday at 8p.m.at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, located at E and Second streets.

The album,however,is more than just a charming descent into a world of fantasy.As Short’s third release,Water for the Day is a showcase of thePortland,Ore.native’s lyrical style and ambition.Short abandons a strict narrative form for a free-spirited,devil-may-care stream of consciousness that could make Virginia Woolf jealous.

This can most clearly be heard inSwimming,the album’s second track.Her twanging vocals as she sings,Everyone sayshey/Systems fall awayis supported by guitar notes so fluid they practically invoke an image of rippling water.And the lyrics themselves,though at times a bit convoluted,are clever for the fact that they offer themselves up to interpretation.

With the underground but solid success of her two previous releases as a building ground,Water for the Day rises as yet another musical achievement for Short.The album is ethereal and fantastical,like sleep-walking for the ears.How appropriate then,that it was inspired by a dream.

 

Jayne Wilson

Give these tracks a listen:

Swimming

“Godamn Thing

 

For fans of:Jolie Holland,Cat Power,Emmylou Harris

 

 

 

Lyrics toSwimming

I’m looking back over my shoulder,throwing bad apples away.

Oh what a day,oh what a day,every minute gets closer.

Everyone says hey,systems fall away.

You’ll learn to swim in the still water,I’ll learn to swim in the waves.

Sometimes I take a stroke or two backwards,watching the land slip away.

Craving not of what,everything I’ve got.

Brilliant you are,mothers and fathers,brothers and sisters you are.

Longwhile back,outside the city,changing the rules near and far.

Synchronized and gay,systems fall away.