Seattle-based guitarist, creative, songwriter and promoter ings releases new album ‘Lullaby Rock’ on 15 November. Influenced by singer-songwriters including Bjork and Ben Folds, the album was inspired by her move to the Emerald City and her experiences within the close-knit local music community.
An alluring bass line opens ‘If Not You’, which finds ings delivering powerful lyrics about being true to yourself amidst a backdrop of folk and chamber pop sounds. She repeats ‘If not you, then who baby’ before offering words of reassurance as the song’s guitar work starts to resemble Peter Gabriel or Vampire Weekend: ‘Show some kindness to yourself, you’re the only one that can’. ‘Afterthought’ follows this with a waltzy opening and hushed yet assertive declarations of ‘I will not be your afterthought, I will not. You gotta go, you gotta go now’.
‘Best Friend Meditation’ is a spoken-word introduction to the following ‘Amelia’, that finds ings discussing how friends deserve more love songs: ‘Picture your best friend and imagine they’re smiling a big, beautiful smile right at you’. She then urges you to appreciate the finer things about friendship, from ‘goofiness’ to ‘gratitude’. ‘Amelia’ is a sweet and nostalgic song in the Joanna Sternberg mould that finds ings telling her friend to open up about her feelings. There’s also a touch of regret over past mistakes made in different places including San Francisco: ‘Should have stayed with you’. ‘No One Belongs Here More Than You’ opens with a slow-burning alt guitar sound and the kind of emotion that serves Sharon Van Etten so well: ‘I remember being 17. Will there be a place for me? I remember being so afraid. Things fall apart almost every day’. There are also references to classic books including ‘Goodnight Moon’ and ‘I Capture the Castle’ dotted throughout.
‘Kiss Your Heroes’ is a song about reality not living up to hope and expectations: ‘Something strange happens when you try to kiss our heroes. They get a little smaller as they get a little nearer’. ings tries not to lose track of things and repeats of ‘you try to keep believing’ while ‘Maker’ has a more meditative tone. ‘Chex Mix’ offers a stream of consciousness that finds ings talking about what she had for breakfast, seeing a queen bitch and watching friends jump naked in a lake (‘the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life’) while the music veers into a National-esque sound.
‘Lullaby Rock’ is a record full of soothing sounds and poignant observations on the power of love.