Priya Thomas has been a critical favorite for more than a decade in Canada,
gaining praise from critics and fans for her dense, powerful songs and her incendiary live
performances. Her dramatic new record, Blood Heron, will be released on October 28th through
Sunny Lane Records in Canada.
Priya Thomas released her first full-length album in 1996, and since then, has shared the stage
with the likes of Radiohead, John Cale, The Fall, and The Dears. Her 2006 release, You and Me
Against the World Baby, received rave reviews for its eye-of-the-storm sonic assault, and its
rich, imaginative literacy. Vancouverís Georgia Straight ranked Thomasís album alongside releases
by Neko Case and Cat Power as one of 2006ís Top Ten Records of the Year.
Blood Heron is a collection of smoldering, unpolished love songs more immediate and intimate
than anything Thomas has yet released. It's a stark and simple suite of missed mutes, tape stretch,
and first takes only. Recorded at home to half inch 8, the raw mix reveals every creak of the floors,
the buzz and hum of warp-necked guitars, and the sound of musicians stumbling around a tiny room.
A record meshed somewhere between the worlds of Sufjan Stevens, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits,
Thomas sounds something like Grace Slick banging pots and pans; or Mazzy Starr,
accompanied by warped ukeleles, clattering tambourines and plunky guitars.
Blood Heron reflects its sparse, nomadic origins. Written while on the road, the
arrangements are skeletal & threadbare with wide-open spaces that reflect
the slow, psychedelic pace of traveling cross-country in a van of strangers.
Thomas wrote much of the record in hotel rooms, borrowing the odd spare guitar, and
carrying around a little black notepad. The result is a loose and ragged homage to love;
confessional and reflective, stripped back and textured.The songs sweep the continent,
exhuming the Canadian landscape and evoking the great American South. .
Those familiar with Priya Thomasís previous work will recognize her dark irony, acerbic wit and
pistol personality despite Blood Heronís foray into a gentler soundscape. The album
intimately explores themes of love and betrayal:
"Donít you come courting me now with that carrot on a stick,
Like you know what makes me tick, you and your mercenary functions -
do I look like I need your sanctifications?"
(Had I Known, I would have declined)
Or, the scathing indictment of betrayal in Wine, Moonshine, Sugar Beams with its
relentless insistence, "to the end, to the end, to the end, row your boat":
ďHe knows you exist he smiles, the widest, wildest, brightest starfucking smile."