Common Holly - When I Say to You Black Lightning LPBarsuk Records
Holding fast to the emotional honesty of Playing House (2017), Common Holly's sophomore record, When I Say To You Black Lightning is a look outward; an exploration of the ways in which we all experience pain, fear and self-delusion, and how we can learn to confront those feelings with boldness. A swift change of course, When I Say To You Black Lightning couples a submergence into the dark and dissonant with it's consolation in harmony, and a dose of dry humor. The record is more experimental than Brigitte Naggar's debut. It's rougher, looser, louder and more atonal. It feels edgy, but still kind. When I Say To You Black Lightning ditches fear without losing vulnerability, and trades in sadness for the healing powers of anger, and the strength of observing, recognizing and confronting. Through it's nine labyrinthian yet catchy tracks, shaped sonically by the seriously unique visions of Devon Bate, Hamish Mitchell, and Naggar herself, the album observes the complexities of mental health, the precarity of life, and the challenges of finding strength in the face of grave misunderstanding.