Namoli Brennet's seventh self-released disc, Until From This Dream I Wake, has her mining some deeper and more personal emotional territory than we've heard in any of her previous releases. A deft storyteller, Brennet now turns her lens inward; the result is a CD filled with a beautiful, aching melancholy that documents the transition from despair to hope. The CD opens with "Grapes of Wrath", an ode to Steinbeck that tells the story of a dustbowl-era family who loses their farm and travels west in search of the promised land. On "Beneath These Bones", Brennet's road-weathered voice delivers an aching portrait of a difficult year. The imagery on "Cut My Tongue" is underscored by a pulsing, breathing soundscape that creates an almost tender counterpoint to the song's graphic lyrics. Other standout tracks include "Let Love In", "Jacob's Angel" and the japanese-garden-inspired "Next Year". As a songwriter who's known as a talented lyricist and storyteller, Brennet has a gift for creating vivid characters and situations; on this disc, she's used those talents to create an intimate self-portrait, with stunning and heartbreaking results.
"Gorgeous and introspective."
- Jamie Manser (Zocalo Magazine)
- David Byrne (Windy City Times)