Is Open, A Home about a relationship or the entire world? The answer may be both: the micro used as a metaphor for the macro. The EP’s story uses many instruments but few words, beginning with a near-breakup and ending with a reconciliation.
The setup may be modern composition, but the main timbre is electronic: a blend that keeps the spirits aloft even when the subject matter is difficult. “I knew we’d fall” ~ the only words in “Fall” ~ are offset by cheerful delivery and a wealth of brass. But how to interpret the word? Is it “fall in” (hinted at in the opener), “fall out,” or “fail?” If the latter, is there a connection to be made to the Original Fall? The woman seems to be saying, “whatever comes, I’m ready, it’s okay, it’s worth it” ~ mirroring the open hands of the cover art.
From this point, the instrumentation begins to recede: the timbres remain thick, but the players head out for lunch alone and in groups. “UP” launches with solo piano, laying the groundwork for clarinet and drums. The song’s title is the diametrical opposite of its predecessor, a condensed turnaround, a car crash averted. Jerome Blazé writes that personal experience can be expanded into empathy, if we only allow ourselves to surrender. “Comets (There’s So Much Good In You”) is a step in this direction. Now the singer is promising, “I’ll carry you,” which seems remarkable in light of the earlier conflict. But when the steady beat develops, it feels like solid ground.
“Wild Faith” contains the question, “Why do I hesitate?” The question may be asked of relationships or of engagement with the world at large. Each contains its share of potential disappointments, but also its share of promise. We may gain a soulmate or a purpose; we may feel that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, or to have affected our portion of the world even if the world as a whole seems the same. Perhaps in each arena we need more wild faith. The brass returns from its short break, eager to encourage. As the music winds down, it seems that every player has found a place to make a contribution: a hopeful parable. (Richard Allen)