Published Feb 05, 2020It's easy to get stuck in a pattern of negative thinking, and with the current state of the world, it doesn't feel like anything can jolt you out of your despair. But Frazey Ford's U kin B the Sun does. It's an antidote to hopelessness.
Across U kin B the Sun, Ford's first record in six years, she offers affirmations that are deeply touching and inspiring: "It's all yours, go get what you want. It's your life," she sings on opener "Azad." "Don't you waste no time believing that you can't," she asserts on "Money Can't Buy." And then on the title track, she repeats, copiously so you believe it, "You can be the sun."
Ford pairs her radiant ebullience with soft and funky grooves built by Phil Cook (Megafaun) on keys, bassist Darren Parris, drummer Leon Power and guitarist Craig McCaul. It's a slight sonic shift from the folk-roots of Ford's previous two records, and her work with the Be Good Tanyas, but a welcome one. "Golden," for instance, has an infectiously confident strut thanks to Parris's cheerful bass line and, to top it off, Cook coats the song in glitter with his sparkling keys. The playfulness of this fluid instrumentation is made for dancing and loving, the very acts that cultivate joy.
Ford began her previous record, 2014's Indian Ocean, on a motivational note: "You better get up for your mama. You better grab the best of your life." Six years later, Ford's fiercely encouraging words remain, but on U kin B the Sun, they feel more powerful than ever. (Arts & Crafts)