Saddle Creek | Orenda Fink | Reviews


Ask The Night

Author: Thomas Starks
10/15/2009 | | | Album Review
If Folk Rock had a face, it would look something like Orenda Fink. Her embodiment captures her talent as though the wind breathed it into her. With writing as powerful as her voice, it's no wonder her latest endeavor simply entrances. It takes strength to hold a soul down and cause them to listen, and this is a journey like none have seen in quite a while. Ask The Night is as real as it gets and as mysterious as you want it to be. orenda

As Orenda's second outing as a solo artist, on top of this being her second project of 2009, Ask The Night is a stand alone work. Taking conflicting emotions to task, Orenda has managed to siphon through the unrequired words and filled her journey with simple concepts that speak volumes.

"Why is The Night Sad," begins with an ominous foreboding, forcing you to question your own night and how it might resemble hers. Her gentle and soothing voice reminisces the humming of the "Shins." Taking you from room to room and opening all the chests with her own lock and key, Orenda manages to unfold a mental wound that seems universal.

Burrowing deeper into Ask The Night you find treasures of pain and pleasure. Some of which is left to interpretation with lyrics like, "Love of a man that didn't belong.." from "Sister" and "In Rooms of silence, we just join inů" from "That Certain-Something Spring." But not to leave us a deep curiosity, she also wraps around the logic of truth and simplicity, allowing us permission to say to ourselves "Now pain is the only word I need to know."

With so much self evaluation, one would think it would need a rest stop of sorts, and that is truly what her track "The Garden" resembles. It's a transition into clarity and hope. It reminds us that Fink is not all about just pain and suffering, she lets us know that it's just a part of the grand scheme, and "If you lose your home, and you lose all you've worked for, if you lose it all, it's alright." The violin sways in like a savior soothing the soul in rough times as a banjo fills in where it was born to go.

Song placement in any LP is so very important as it is not only an artist wanting to display, but also for the listener to receive the complete story without fragments. Ask The Night has that and more, taking us from one place to another with clear transition and motivated vocals. Orenda Fink says at the end of this journey "It's so sad to watch the world go bad" but invites us all to ask it together, and simply stare at the moon, and ask the night.

01. Why Is the Night Sad
02. High Ground
03. Sister
0 4. That Certain-Something Spring
05. The Garden
06. Wind
07. Alabama
08. The Mural
09. Half-Light
10. The Moon Knows
Ask The Night

Ask The Night

LP / CD / MP3