Lindsay Murray’s latest project Gretchen’s Wheel has released their début album Fragile State – an album hosting an array of musical styles making it impossible to lock it into a one genre box. The music and Lindsay’s voice seem to be a match made in heaven, as they complement each other so well. The album plays with a more modern approach to country music, which creeps up from time to time but few artists manage to get it right. Fragile State demonstrates a real hybrid of mixing both country and softer rock elements giving it the opportunity to appeal to a wider audience.
The album opens with the track “Second to Last”, with lyrics of longing and reaching for something just beyond grasp. The track itself is one of the most popular on the album and with good reason, its catchy rhythm makes it impossible to listen to just once. Listening to the song multiple times allows the listener to really get involved in the story of the album, noting the slightly grim lines such as:
“Waiting for relief to come / but it never will.”
In contrast to the opening track, the closing track “Total Loss” shows a more angsty side to the album. Though keeping the theme of country rock, there is a heaviness with this track along with angrier lyrics, seemingly laced with frustration. The song begins with a slow calming intro, only to build and release the emotion attached to the song, and the inclusion of an all-important key change towards the end of the track. The song hosting a more eerie vibe when put against the other tracks on the album, with the exception of “Masquerade Waltz” which was reminiscent of a siren, luring in the listener by the way Lindsay utilises her unique sounding vocal chords.
Overall, the album is best listened to straight-through at first rather than on shuffle, as listening to each song is like listening to a story being told. The highs and lows, both of the lyrics and music captivates the listener to engage with every element of the album.