Fans of local musician Zoe Lewis know the charm and joy of her voice. Even when she sings ballads with sorrowful lyrics, this quality shines through, lending an eternal optimism to her music. In her latest release The Sound of Wings, which came out earlier this year, her blend of pop, traditional and Dixieland jazz, as well as Latin rhythms combine, resulting in a collection of songs that will have you dancing and singing along.
Dedicated “to the ones who now have wings,” there is a bittersweetness to some of the songs, such as the title track, which features sorrowful strings and piano in a song that speaks of love, loss, and the powerful desire to bring back those we have lost, even when we know it is impossible.
But the recording, which Lewis produced herself, features songs that explore everything from love to the islands of plastic trash in our oceans. Also included is a piece called “Edie Windsor” that celebrates the marriage equality activist’s success and a lovely, quiet piano melody “Snow,” that is followed by the funny ode to the Jewish Christmas tradition of eating Chinese food on December 25th, called “Peking Duck.”
It’s these kinds of wildly different musical impulses that make the record have a kind of timeless quality to it. There are old-timey melodies and the instrumentation often recalls arrangements of the past, however, the lyrics speak of subject matter that is very much of today.
In addition to Lewis on vocals, piano, and ukulele, the album features Michael Croiter on drums/percussion, Mary Ann McSweeney and Jon Evans on bass, Sam Kulick and John Wolf on trombone, Roxanne Layton on recorder, Mark Chenevert on clarinet, Julie Wolf on accordion and backup vocals, Kate Wolf on backup vocals, Mari Dorman on cello, and Ben Burdick on harmonica. It’s a wonderful collection for a Sunday afternoon drive, Saturday mornings taking care of household chores, or a Friday night dinner party.
The Sound of Wings by Zoe Lewis is available on CDBaby.com as well as at Womencrafts 376 Commercial St., Provincetown. For more information visit zoelewis.com.