The news is brutal. Not just this morning, but most mornings. These days, it seems, someone, somewhere, is always scheming to commit terrible acts in furtherance of their aims, whatever they may be. It is not a new phenomenon. Zealotry has been with us since the dawn of time, and seems to ebb and flow according to an algorithm all its own.
Which is why, today, I smiled wide upon discovering that, at least in the U.S., the Irish singer-songwriter Karrie O’Sullivan’s 2016 album Perpetual Motion is available on Apple Music under the one-name moniker of Karrie. Music provides solace and escape from the concerns of the day like no other, of course. And wouldn’t you know it? The first line of the first song of the album opens with, “Sometimes it feels so strong that I’m going to break…”
That video features a stripped-down rendition of “This Time,” obviously, and the subject of the song isn’t about the worries of the world, but love. On album, the song’s gentleness is amplified, and grows from a trickle to a stream of flowing instruments and vocals.
In an email, Karrie noted that the album’s second track, “Trying to Be Honest,” has a Rickie Lee Jones-like vibe –
And, indeed, it does. So goes the album as a whole, with the occasional influences (Joni, Rickie Lee, Van Morrison, among others) in the grooves (or bytes) never overwhelming or distracting from the songs but, instead, acting as affectionate homages. And then a song like “Movie Show” flutters its opening reel…
…and you’re totally immersed in the flickering image being projected by the lyrics and melody. The same goes with the album’s title track:
From what I’ve read, Karrie turned to music as a second career after the 2008-09 recession caused a downturn in her horse-training business, which she’d pursued for 15-20 years. She picked up a guitar, wrote her first song and eventually released her first album, Jelly Legged, in 2011. (That debut is also on Apple Music, for what it’s worth.) But I’d wager that she’s had melodies, rhythms and rhymes bubbling in the back of her brain from a young age; she just had to tame and train them. Likewise, I’m sure, she had to do the same with her lilting and lovely voice, which has become more confident in the years since Jelly Legged.
The whys and wherefores of the wider world’s insanity – those are things that we have seen before, and unfortunately will deal with again. It is not worthy of panic. Rather, it’s best to move forward with a clear head and heart, deal with the problem straight-on – and seek occasional refuge in that which matters most to us: family, friends and, in my case, feline and song. Karrie O’Sullivan’s Perpetual Motion fills that last bill for today, and I’m sure it will tomorrow and next week. It’s a thing of aural beauty.