This is Sonia Tetlow’s third album in just under two years, including one with the acoustic group Roxie Watson last spring.
The sound here is generally more acoustic than 2013’s Own Way Home, and the writing is even more personal.
Most of the songs reflect her recent move from New Orleans to Georgia, with musicians from both cities represented (including her fellow ex-Cowboy Mouth members, Paul Sanchez and Mary Lasseigne).
Her old home figures in the more upbeat tracks here: “Mr. Okra” salutes that beloved character (impersonated by trombonist Craig Klein); the opening “Mardi Gras Morning” is about trying to feel the spirit when you’ve gone back to school and have a midterm that day.
She references getting drunk in the latter tune, but the closing “Comfort & the Light” is about the first stages of sobriety—in between come a few affecting songs about rootlessness, as the singer sorts out distances from old homes and relationships.
There are enough good hooks to draw you in, and her vocals have the right mix of sweetness and grit.
So Tetlow’s personal changes haven’t kept her from blossoming as a songwriter.