Caroline Spence: Spades & Roses

Posted on Mar 17, 2017 in Album Reviews
Caroline Spence: Spades & Roses

When you think about it, songwriters do an amazing thing. Taking a limited number of notes and a limited number of words, they craft infinite expressions of emotion. They turn the mundane into the sacred, the personal into the universal. It’s a wonder, really, that there are so many different ways to say — or sing — ”I love you” — or “I hate you” — but there are. And Caroline Spence keeps finding incredibly poetic ways to do just that.

On her wonderful new release, Spades & Roses, the Virginia native burrows into her own heart and emerges with 11 fantastic tunes. Some lean into everyday metaphors in order to get their points across; others turn simple phrases sideways to do the same. (Not sure how “All the Beds I’ve Made” hadn’t been written yet, but now it sure has… and beautifully so.)

Spence’s style meanders in the middling area between contemporary folk and traditional country, and her talent runs wide enough to do that very, very well without getting bogged down by the pretensions or protections that some genre-loyalists endure. Tack on her sweetly aching voice, one that falls just shy of Patty Griffin’s, and, well, it’s easy to see why she’s much-beloved by the folks who have given her a listen.