Several years ago, a friend told me that I needed to listen to Thalia Zedek. My friend fell in love with Zedek after seeing her perform on the Suffragette Sessions Tour in the late 90s. Having been pleased with my friend’s recommendations in the past, I went out and bought a used copy of Come’s (Zedek’s former band) Gently, Down the Stream. My first listen through had me wondering if my friend had changed her medication. This was not at all what I expected. Nevertheless, by the third spin of the CD, I had fallen in love with Zedek’s rough, tired voice and emotional musical whirlwind.
Her latest recording, Trust Not Those In Whom Without Some Touch of Madness, has the same kind of stark reality found on her previous recordings, but the current band configuration has replaced a snarling electric guitar with the warm tones of a viola. The surprising brighter tone found at the end of a few of the tracks (“Ship”, “Bus Stop”), signals hope and an ironic maturity; something I had not found in Zedek’s music before. The indie rock songwriter is mellowing over time, less angry and depressed and more rueful. Lest you think she is on her way to the old indie rocker’s home, Zedek reminds the listener of the power of her music by closing the recording with a cacophony of electric guitar, drums, and feedback, then dwindling down to shine a light on the seductive power and intensity of her voice.
If you’re ever in the mood for some good break-up songs, then look no further than Trust Not Those…. “Angels” speaks to the time of denial leading up to the break-up. Bus Stop” is the break-up and then try to get back together even though you know nothing is going to change kind of song. “Since Then” is the post final break-up meditation. Lastly, although it’s not quite a break-up song, “Hell is in Hello” lays bare the pain of realizing that your relationship (romantic or otherwise) has become one-sided.
i’m tired of people
tired of people
who are too afraid to say goodbye
The recording’s title comes from a miss-matched fortune Zedek received in the late eighties, and it is worthy of being wrapped up and passed along to a lover of music. I plan to give a copy to my friend who introduced me to Zedek years ago.