On 2009’s The Killer in Me, former New Yorker Amy Speace sang of heartbreak. Land Like a Bird, Speace’s latest release, chronicles a new kind of ache: saying goodbye to the big city. But bidding farewell is not always easy, and the past, not always so far away.
“But life takes its twists and turns and as much as I loved Manhattan, I felt the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another [moving to Nashville]. Relief and anticipation went hand in hand with the grieving,” says Speace.
The low-key opener, “Drive All Night,” gives that goodbye quite the literal start. Speace too-repeatedly chants, “drive all night,” as if in need of reassurance. That same theme bleeds over onto the memorable gem of a title track. Here, a mysterious, muddled intro gives way to haunting piano, acoustic guitar, and Speace’s chill-inducing falsetto. She sings, “There’s a new world/land like a bird.” “Battered Hatches,” a raw, ostensibly one-take track, furthers this stance: “We’ll sail through the storm,” she asserts.
Affirmations aside, Speace also holds on to a long-lost lover, a heavy heartache. Sentiment spoils gems that could have been (“Manila Street” and “Had to Lose”), but saves – and makes – others when paired with fellow singer-songwriter Kim Richey’s haunting vocals (“Vertigo” and “Real Love Song”).
Land Like a Bird is available now via Thirty Tigers.