Mitchell a package of journalism, literature, music

Tricia Friesen

Anais Mitchell’s album, “The Brightness,” is full of underground folk tunes and story-telling lyrics with piano, banjo and acoustic guitar accompaniment. I thought the accompaniment in her songs was flowing and interesting to listen to. But, personally, I did not care for her voice. When she sang in her lower register, I was quite annoyed and thought she sounded like a two-year-old or an elderly lady. However, I found her higher register full of rich, sweet tones which redeemed her for a few minutes. There was one song that I thought stood out from the rest entitled, “Your Fonder Heart.” The only part of the song that I liked was the 20 seconds of chorus line which featured her rich tone cascading along with the accompaniment, making me want to sing along…for a second.

Mitchell grew up on a sheep farm in Vermont and had aspirations of becoming a journalist. She started writing songs at the age of 17 and began performing them live during school. She has traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America studying different countries’ languages and politics along the way. She incorporates her love for journalism and literature into her songs.

“I used to tell people that I wanted to be a journalist,” said Mitchell, in a press release. “There is a lonely egotism and self-composure to journalists. Not unlike artists, they’re always traveling, always writing, loving their loneliness, feeling somehow that they have their finger on the pulse-worshipping the truth and trying to rend it legible.”

Mitchell has two previously released albums; “The Song They Sang When Rome Fell” in 2002 and “Hymns for the Exiled” in 2004. “The Brightness” is set to hit stores Feb. 13. If you enjoy folk music, then I would recommend this album to you. I, unfortunately, found out that folk music is definitely not for me.