We premiere the ten songs that make up “Blood Rushing”, the sixth album of singer-songwriter Josephine Foster. Here she distances herself from literary folk to explore the connections between her acoustic songs, Native America and traditional Indian music.
For over ten years, Josephine Foster – born in Colorado and settled for years in the South of Spain – has been one of the most unique artists on the folk scene at its most psychedelic and free. Gifted with a high, expressive voice (which originally was to have led her to sing opera, until she discovered the guitar, Appalachian music and the popular songs of the American heartland), Foster has brought together two types of obsessions on her albums: the purity of tradition and the richness of literary images. After an active initial phase of self-releasing, “Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You” (2005) appeared on the Locust Music label, a name with an experimental pedigree that has also worked with similar artists, such as Sir Richard Bishop and Espers. Since then Foster has released six more albums until coming to “Blood Rushing” (Fire Records, 2012), with three especially notable titles: “This Coming Gladness” (2008), an essential work of acid folk from the last decade, the superb “Graphic As A Star” (2009), based on texts by poetess Emily Dickinson, and “Anda Jaleo” (2010), recorded in Granada with The Victor Herrero Band and based on Andalusian popular songs reclaimed by Federico García Lorca in the 30s, along with La Argentinita.
“Blood Rushing” is a less ambitious album in a literary sense – the texts are hers, there are no adaptations – and it is more focused on the musical side, marking Josephine Foster’s return to folk-rock with expressive melodies and slightly baroque arrangements, inspired this time in certain traditional songs from Pre-Columbian America and India. Next Monday, 17th September, Fire Records will put it on sale, but before that you can listen to it here; an exclusive stream, with a song-by-song commentary from Josephine herself, who is accompanied on these ten songs by Víctor Herrero (electric and Spanish guitar), Paz Lenchantin (bass, violin, Indian flute), Heather Trost (violin, Rarámuri Indian flute) and Ben Trimble (percussion).
I wanted jaw-harp to approximate the sound of a dowsing rod, if a dowsing rod had a sound. To articulate a group stepping in synchronized motion behind a leader who holds the rod which leads them to water. There are wild animals around, it may be moonlight.
2. Panorama Wide
The wide panorama I’m from is the Rocky Mountains. My own conception was here in Colorado, in the Great Divide that extends all the way from Alaska to the tip of South America. And in this part of the Divide wander exquisite bighorns upon stupendous cliff sides. These rams are also my birth sign, Aries. So it is a personal song, but I share it with Blushing, the character, who is from a very nearby place. Victor is channelling some South American rhythms here in his guitar, because this Great Divide is connected to both the Americas.
3. Sacred Is The Star
The sun our star and source of life. It was written one winter morning as the sun poured through an easterly window, and also poured through my eyes into my being. The window and the eyes are the same, and I call them glass. The song is a benediction that our star may persevere.
4. Child Of God
The song’s initials are C.O.G., an acronym for cog. When I noticed this it became my personal joke. We are children of the Universe, but we are little cogs (just nameless parts of the greater wheel). I later noticed that the song is in the key of C and then moves to a G chord as its other pivot point. So even the chord names spelled and reinforced this phrase “Child of God”. The words relate my feelings toward urban life. I lived in the big city of Chicago many years.
5. Blood Rushing
An aria of self-recognition and connection to her heart, the moment of Blushing’s poetic birth. She introduces herself boldly to a sweetheart she has made love to. Her female kin sing along, and things grow into a pas de deux, a classical love dance duet.
6. The Wave Of Love
...which came to me spontaneously. This happens once in a while. It expresses the essence of what I feel essentially true. Paz improvised 2 violins parts over this, two exquisite accompanying melodies. We call them the doves, she is painting with her violin the dancing flight of two smitten birds.
7. O Stars
For a long time I’ve had in mind to write some sort of song that could help me recall and describe the magical constellations in a personal way. Mixing freely from different mythologies the poetry is meant to be sung under the stars with drum, of course, enticing stargazers to dance.
This is my 21st-century take on the ancient fertility song. Need I say more?
9. Underwater Daughter
It was written several years ago on my own birthday under a tree. I dedicate this to my mother.
10. Words Come Loose
A hypnotic song to trick foolhardy trespassers into losing control. The listeners too we hope will lose/loosen themselves and engage physically in melody and beat.