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Track Premiere: Tracy Shedd – “Broken Arrows”

By ; October 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM 

Tracy Shedd - Arizona

The pensive and intimately acoustic narratives that singer Tracy Shedd finds herself immersed in on her upcoming album, Arizona (out November 12th via New Granada Records), can sometimes be difficult to successfully maintain, as it’s very hard to hide anything in the stripped down folk aesthetic.  But despite the superficial limitations of the genre within which she works on her new record, Shedd has managed to impart an honest vulnerability to these songs, while still sounding  spirited and independent.  But her interest in the more acoustic side of  music has been a recent infatuation.  She initially made a name for herself with Teen Beat Records, plying a more gauzy slowcore sound.

But with Arizona, she steps into the ranks of such artists as Damian Jurado and Mark Kozelek — a fierce singer and songwriter who effortlessly draws stories from her own experiences as well as those she imagines.  Working with her husband and lead guitarist James Tritten, the duo strips these songs of almost everything digital and even make a point to forgo picks and handle the stringwork by hand.  But Shedd and Tritten aren’t alone in their musical venture; they’ve brought along Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), Denison Witmer, Naïm Amor, and Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) to help fill out the ranks.  And for the first time on any of her LPs, she has included two covers, “Candy” by The Magnetic Fields and “Teenage Riot” by Sonic Youth, which stand strong among the originals her write for the record.

On her latest single, the jangly acoustic “Broken  Arrows,” Shedd weaves her haunting voice within strands of insistent guitar and brings in Howard to back her up on the vocal harmonies.  But unlike some introspective songwriters, she never allows “Broken Arrows” to stay stationary or wallow in any presupposed maudlin attitudes.  The song moves along at a brisk pace, casually tossing out memorable melodies and lines like “I’ll keep my heart close to you/I’ll keep my dreams close to me” without it ever sounding cloying or overly sentimental or saccharine. She sings “you could die trying/Or you could die with a broken heat” with such an understanding and expressiveness that there’s no doubt the song is culled from personal experiences and an ache that is lodged somewhere deep in Shedd’s heart.

Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the new single, “Broken Arrows,” from Tracy Shedd’s upcoming album, Arizona.


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