Musically, she covers the waterfront from gospel to Americana, a dash of 80’s alternative, and pop influences.
Whins and Weather
Artist: Beki Hemingway
Label: Birdie Num Num
Where to begin? A definition of “whins”, I think. Whins are beautiful flowers with hidden thorns. Our life experiences seem to resemble that idea a lot, and Hemingway presents a more mature, thoughtful album than her previous work. There is a lot of depth here, and songs that work on two levels if you dig into the lyrical content.
As always, her vocals are somewhere between Karin Bergquist and Maria McKee. Husband Randy Kerkman is a guitar wizard, and a plethora of talented guests are featured throughout (Jeff Elbel, Kenny Hutson, Duke Special, et al).
“Two More Hills” is the opener, and conveys the task of not giving up, and helping each other through trials, and “No Excuses” seems to visit the same theme. “My World Is Out There” reflects on traveling (perhaps their move to Ireland), and changes in life.
“Is This All” is another heartwrenching song, with the line “I am here, and I won’t let you break.” Beki has been through a lot in the last few years, and her journey of health issues, traveling, and finding a new home are presented throughout.
“Anyone But You” is a breakup song, something that seems to be Hemingway’s forte, even if not autobiographical. “You Sing This Song” is a cry for help, asking for someone to step for us when we can’t finish the job. “Thank You for the Rain” depicts the ups and downs of life, and in straining for contentment.
“Because” shows that love can be unconditional:
“I love you not in spite all of these things, but just because”.
“Tourist” is painful. We often use the wrong lens of dealing with tragic events, and this depiction is not exception.
How to sum up? Musically, she covers the waterfront from gospel to Americana, a dash of 80’s alternative, and pop influences. When lyrics can make me cry, I consider them to be poignant and relatable. When lyrics make me smile, I look deeper into them and think about shared experiences. When they make me think, I appreciate them and ponder. All of that is here and more.
Brian A. Smith
21 March 2018