Image via The Wild Honey Pie.
Oh, My Heart
Written by Casey Holmstrom
"Oh, My Heart" is the third album from Philly’s DIY scene’s Shannen Moser. It injects something vital into the listener, like nutrients to a healthy garden. The vibe holds a blend of the Dixie Chicks’ banjo storytelling and harmonizing and a more mature version of Girlpool’s innocent emotional tolls of growing older. Girlpool also plays in the same Philadelphia circles as Moser. “Oh, My Heart” sings to the heart of spring and the melt of winter.
The opening track, “I’m Going Home (Sacred Heart),” is a lilting intro with an almost gospel-sounding timbre. As the dust settles, “Alex (282)” sets you on solid ground. Moser inflicts her audience with a voice similar to Marissa Paternoster of the Screaming Females.
"Oh, My Heart" is like pages from a private journal, and the album art itself is decorated with a sparse collage like a notebook cover. Moser’s pages are filled with death, friendship, and fuck-offs mixed in with spring time growth. “Yard” is a softer reflection, like it’s possible to breathe too loudly in a quiet room. On “Grower,” Moser declares with rawness, “Love will fuck us all.” Profanity always sets the mood in love, lust, and the calamity of growing older.
“Yr Undertaker" brushes the debris off and giving melancholy kisses and bidding for sweet dreams. The piano strokes give you butterflies and recalls afresh, yet darker and sadder version of Rilo Kiley sounds. "October" conjures a childhood memory waiting at the bus stop in the sunrise with a headset on.
"Oh, My Heart" feels short, but for all the right reasons. It seems like a healing album, not for just Moser, but for her listeners as well. She lets us feel up her heart a little bit as she heals from life’s highs and lows--her daily roller coaster. “Dirt and Water” brings us to the end and just like the end of a day can feel final like death, so does the end of her album.