Time has the power to make us wiser. It was the ability to open us up to new experiences and new directions, to reduce our inhibitions if we are willing to experience the moment. Time and creativity can be best friends if we allow them to be. CT’s Lys Guillorn must have learned this lesson at some point because her new album, Winged Victory, is the triumph of experience meeting with raw talent.
Fans of the CT music scene should already have Guillorn well-entrenched on their radar. She’s been recording under her own name since 2003 and has, more recently, been a collaborator, session and live player for acts as varied as Mercy Choir and The Grimm Generation. But despite a pretty prolific output of music her name is attached to in some form, Guillorn has seemingly lacked that career-defining record that would make the neophytes to CT music sit up and take notice. That is, until now.
Winged Victory is the second full-length album by Guillorn and the first full-length of new material since her 2003, self-titled debut. It’s been released on her Little Cowgirl imprint and was recorded at one of CT’s best houses of music, Dirt Floor Studio. She comes at the listener not only with a full band in tow, but also with a cavalcade of guest musicians and a litany of her own instruments, each of which she’s extremely adept at. On this album Guillorn’s brand of folksy Americana is drenched in 60’s pop harmonies and an indie rock aesthetic. While she’s not afraid to bust out the lap steel, she’s also not afraid to incorporate the occasional cello accompaniment or horn section. It’s an album that’s pretty indicative of an artist who’s spent time floating in and out of varying genres for the last few years and coming back home to incorporate some of that into her own work. Again, positive musical experiences meeting with raw talent on wide open display here.
But these songs also tell beautiful and sometimes sorrowful stories. Tracks like “Hard Corners” and “Blindness” are full of powerfully emotional details and Guillorn does an exceptional job of relaying the pleasures and pains of her characters, whether real life or otherwise. Her voice is a unique one, able to relay happiness and misery equally with aplomb. Country music fans will appreciate the honesty of these compositions just as much as the twang in which they sometimes get delivered but you don’t have to be wearing a cowboy hat to appreciate Guillorn’s music in general. No, again, there are enough pop and folk elements at play here to keep the non-country fans from running away.
Simply put, Lys Guillorn is an immensely talented musician with a lot to share. Winged Victory is the album that finally puts her work on the pedestal it’s deserved for some time now. You can listen to the entire album over at her Bandcamp page.