Melodic Revolution 2022
Seeking hidden meanings that are kept aloft, American artists outline a three-piece elegance of soft, if robust, femininity.
If this EP’s title is redolent of an Emily Brontë novel that’s long became a staple of pop-music parlance, there’s no coincidence: “Weighted Keys” must become a milestone on POTTER’S DAUGHTER’s road to their own “Wuthering Heights” – the goal the ensemble have been going for for a few years now without as much as casting a fleeting glance at trends. That’s why the Virginian group should shun any innuendo concerning their pseudo-timely unveiling of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell’s covers – the collective laid down “Night Of The Swallow” and “That Song About The Midway” earlier than the summer heatwave of 2022 made the ballads’ writers widely accepted by the previously uninitiated – and that’s why their pursuit of such particular, peculiar source material reflects progressive rock’s principal intent.
Here, adhering to their chosen genre’s original idea while refusing to recognize any stylistic boundaries, the band not only allow those peculiar spirits possess every nervous cell to let Dyanne Potter Voegtlin locate female sensibility, sensuality even (an enotional aspect that art-rock has been struggling ever since Annie Haslam, this combo’s one-time collaborator, came to signify the concept), in familiar melodies, but also flesh it out in the most sympathetic, heartfelt manner. Not for nothing the mini-album’s middle part is her purely instrumental, compelling solo piano reading of Tom Kelly’s “Catherine” which approaches Beethoven’s “Appassionata” in Dyanne’s delivery, yet she’s anchoring Kate’s atmospheric airiness and grounding Joni’s joyous gravitas with a pinch of swagger, Jan Christiana’s bass punctuating the vocalist’s down-to-earth flutter.
Although it takes courage – something more strong and nuanced, almost intangible, than guts – to interpret the ladies’ proprietary poetic pieces, and not a lot of artists are capable of this, Jan and Dyanne capture the very essence of their vibrant verve. Of course, when keys are weighted scaling wuthering heights and harnessing hissing summer lawns must be easy.