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Gretchen Peters Gretchen Peters
Album: Dancing With The Beast
Label: Proper
Tracks: 11

Gretchen Peters' new release, Dancing With The Beast, feels even more long awaited since she took a twelve month hiatus from touring in 2017.

Eleven new songs, all penned by Gretchen, some solo, some with others, follow her trademark; sad songs, written and delivered in the most beautiful, poignant way, as only Gretchen Peters can. The lead single, disappearing act, explores the idea that people we love, disappear; loss hurts, nobody is immune and this song encapsulates those feelings in the most relatable and articulate way.

Arguing with Ghosts, the opening track, was written with Matraca Berg and Ben Glover. Pondering change and the passage of time, it is again a song to which we can all relate. Things change and time passes, whoever we are and whether we like it or not. There is an inevitability about it, which brings with it a mixture of emotions which are conveyed within the lyrics. Throughout the making of the CD, Gretchen was, naturally, influenced by world events; politics, the women's march, the #metoo movement and the general craziness of our world. Additionally, in 2016, her mother passed away. There are echoes, both subtle and explicit of the world in which these songs were written.

Scenery features heavily in songs such as Wichita, Lowlands and Truckstop Angel, painting a picture with words. Further issues explored, primarily through the voices of women, are sexuality, women standing up for themselves and politics. In Dancing With The Beast, The beast becomes an extremely powerful metaphor; again something Gretchen is marvellous at.

Produced by Doug Lancio and with Gretchen's distinctive vocals which reach into your soul, this is a CD which takes you on an emotional journey. You could be forgiven for expecting a depressing collection of songs; actually it is the opposite. It is a CD of beauty, intimacy, honesty, life and somewhere hidden within, hope.

Helen Mitchell