by trevor elkin
Whether or not you believe in a divine architect, there’s a sublime spiritual presence in JoJo Worthington’s album ‘\ \’ (Two Lines), which will move the hardest of hearts.
The ambiguous beauty of her rural Canadian homeland, with its contrasting harsh peaks and luscious greenery is embodied here in each track. Ukulele dances playfully alongside a grave, foreboding cello and the bluster of stormy brass as if there is nothing to fear in the darkness of their shadow. Worthington’s voice is strong and nimble, treading softly at first through the title song then bounding the rougher, rockier edge to the summit with determination.
If there’s a feeling of sitting peacefully in a place of worship, here and there, it’s intentional. Parts of the album were recorded in churches and Worthington finds a lot of her inspiration in her faith, which play out here in stories of growing up, rites-of-passage and being tested by life’s cruelty. Much of this drama is explored and articulated through experimental sounds, loops and brash orchestral flashes, but even in these oppressive moments is a lightness and clarity that penetrates the gloom and lifts us. Closing track and perhaps the most devotional, ‘Trinity, Father’, resonates with Sufjan Stevens exploration of (self-)forgiveness and mercy; ultimately, the answers to our questions are found from within, not above.
Buy ‘\ \’ now on Bandcamp