Stream Emily Kate Boyd’s new record, “In the Woods”

Authored By pitulah

Chattanooga native Emily Kate Boyd creates music with ties to the histories of country, blues and folk music-but even those genres seem to bend and twist around her bucolic narratives and gorgeous melodies. Her songs are stories with a commanding presence that can easily shift from aching emotionality to stark rationalization in a heartbeat. There’s something unpredictable in her voice, as if these songs were just the beginning of grand history and not the end; these stories continue on after the music ends, and we’re left with the uncertainty of their conclusion. And it’s this sense of questionable resolve that draws you back to her music time and again, ready to hear just one more note.

And though Chattanooga is her hometown, Boyd has lent her heart to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she is currently expanding her own imprint label, ARCA Records. It was here that she wrote and recorded a good deal of the material for her latest album, “In the Woods.” Having previously released material under her Billie in the Woods moniker, these songs come to us under her given name, with no perceptible barriers between us and Boyd’s richly textured compositions. 

“In the Woods” is a masterful bit of austerity, with each song feeling slim but not anemic and carrying with it years of experience and emotion. It’s nothing that we’ve not heard before necessarily (acoustic guitars, shuffling percussion and a world-weary voice delivering intimate details), but through a sure and creatively determined hand, Boyd makes this all seem so new. The guitars ring out in ever-widening tonal circles, while the drums saunter across the room to join the rest of the band onstage. Bits of banjo and fiddle cross each other and lock arms in a spiraling upward motion that carries the songs along on a bed of gossamer rhythms and languid melodies.

And though these songs cover territory stretching through a handful of genres, there is never a point where the music begins to show its seams; everything ties together so neatly and without a break in its rustic façade. The strands of folk, blues and country music that Boyd captures and condenses on “In the Woods” feel ageless, as if these sounds could have existed during the Great Depression but were patiently waiting for Boyd and her fellow musicians to come along and conjure them from thin air. 

Stream the latest record from Emily Kate Boyd below. 

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on FacebookTwitter or by email