Over the course of her five solo albums Sara Storer has chronicled stories of the land and the people who live on it. She has sung of heartbreak: the kind caused by droughts and by people. Sometimes she sounds like she’s from another time – sitting around a campfire in the eighteenth century, perhaps, preserving stories by singing them, her voice strong and true.
Storer’s sixth album, Purple Cockies, is faithful to her personal tradition, but it also sounds like an album of love songs. These are not the sorts of love songs that crowd charts with their similar-sounding promises of eternal fidelity: Storer’s songs are of love in all its messy, glorious forms. Love of parents, of children, of partners and place. Love that fulfils and breaks. It is also about love of life, and as Storer’s tone turns almost jaunty on ‘Here I Go Again’, for example, it sounds like she’s having fun even as she acknowledges that life isn’t perfect.
I took a long time to appreciate Sara Storer. I realise now that I used to find her voice too raw – not because she’s an unaccomplished singer but because she’s so willing to lay herself bare. Depending on where a listener is in their own life, that kind of exposure can be hard to hear.
Now it’s clear that Storer’s rawness has always been bravery. She has not been afraid to show us who she is and what’s important to her. She has not been afraid to show us her heart, and it’s never been more beautifully shown than on Silos. From the opening track, ‘My Diamond’, which is about her father and sung with her brother, Greg Storer, Sara Storer captivates. This is an album that holds you in its embrace and makes you want to stay there.
Silos is out now through ABC Music/Universal.