There are artists who can command attention. They lean into their songs with an irresistible edge and total emotional connection and stay there. Sallie Ford is one of those artists. On her new Vanguard Records album Soul Sick, Ford creates music that draws on all of her influences but still comes out her own. From the album's opening line "I woke up feeling sour on the sweetest summer day," the 11 tracks chronicle Ford's journey through anxiety, insecurity, and depression.
"This is a ‘confessional' album. It's about struggling with my issues – some that I've overcome and some that I still carry around. I felt confused, down about life and unsure of myself," states Ford. "On these new songs, it felt good to write on one theme and from one place. All in all, Soul Sick has taught me a lot about myself and helped me to heal."
That healing is captured throughout the music played on the album. With Mike Coykendall (M. Ward and She & Him) at the helm, it's laced with nostalgic feeling and produced to enhance that essence. "I asked Mike to produce, Ford says. "He loves old rock & roll and always records on tape, but he's also an experimenter, exploring new things with his music.
Soul Sick finds Ford further mining, updating and perfecting her vintage influences to stand alongside her uncompromising and confessional lyricism. On her first themed album, her doo-wop harmonies, slippery British invasion keyboards, and crunchy, fuzzed-out guitars back Ford's distinctive howl and surround her at-once intimate and confrontational musings on love, depression, and fear.
"The Oregon-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Ford is like a cross between Liz Phair and Buddy Holly." – New Yorker