Review of “Peacemaker” by Vera Sola: A hauntingly atmospheric take on American gothic.

Estimated read time 2 min read

It took Vera Sola four years to create her second album, but for a storyteller like her, that is a short amount of time. With a background as the descendant of “gunslingers” and “spiritualists” (as well as being the daughter of actor Dan Aykroyd), she grew up in both New York and rural Canada, drawing inspiration from the vast landscapes for her haunting folk songs. Similar to her first album, Shades (2018), which featured instruments made from bones and broken glass, Peacemaker combines polished Nashville musicianship with eerie textures, resulting in a record that creates such a vivid atmosphere that you can almost feel the breeze rustling through her white prairie dress.

Sola’s smoky vocals have been compared to those of Nancy Sinatra, while her portrayal of doomed femininity is reminiscent of Lana Del Rey’s style, especially in the song “Bird House” where she sings “Lady took the silence to mean nobody loved her.” However, “Peacemaker” could easily be placed in the same category as Tom Waits, as it showcases a dark sense of humor and tells stories of poor choices, starting fires, and seeking revenge, all accompanied by twangy, fingerpicked guitar. Sola’s lyrics have a literary quality to them but do not come across as personal; she remains a mysterious and solitary figure throughout the album. This is exemplified in the song “I’m Lying” where she alternates between breathless “I love you”s and claims that she is only pretending. Her poker face remains unbroken throughout the entire record.


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