Meredith Bragg: Silver Sonya

Music Reviews Meredith Bragg
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Meredith Bragg: Silver Sonya

D.C. folkie goes very solo

Meredith Bragg imposes some very strict rules on Silver Sonya, his second release and first without backing band The Terminals.

The D.C. folkie, along with producers Chad Clark and T. J. Lipple, has limited the sounds on the album to whatever can be produced by either his voice or guitar and then manipulated in the studio. It’s an intriguing concept, a little intrusive in practice, but the trio pushes it far without overwhelming Bragg’s songs. His soft vocals and acoustic strums mix with otherworldly burbles and bleeps, creating a distracting ambient backdrop on “Turns Out You Won” and twisting his guitar into what sounds like toy piano and drums on the dark “Rejoice.” Not every song is so eager to experiment: The seafaring “Plinian,” with its ghostly choir, and the gently dismissive “Ballad of an Opportunist” showcase these two main instruments in their natural setting, which still suits Bragg best.