The folk singer-songwriter has delivered another magnificent record.
On her third full-length record, The Passing Scene, Leah Senior beautifully reconciles the intertwining and interrelation of dreams, freedom, love, psychedelia, hope, loss and time. Time is the concept most playfully explored throughout this record – from visiting the “graves of the rockstars” to watching a child “learning to walk”.
The consistently beautiful imagery Senior portrays of the physical and tangible are constantly paired with more ethereal abstractions, allowing for oceans to become analogous with psychedelia and for the sky to become “just a windowpane” out towards the great unknown.
Most impressively, there is a clear trajectory to the record that runs parallel to the evocation Senior quite deliberately crafts as a metaphor for the passage of time itself – every line pushing the listener a further step upwards into Senior’s conceptualisation of life, death and the in-between. The whole thing feels like it’s at once a refutation and calm acceptance of the grand absurdity of existence: “I can only be who I am, you can only be you.”
The production of this record is fantastic, particularly Senior’s vocal delivery and the tapey warmth that envelopes the entirety of the album. Her harmonies throughout are beautiful and hold a quality similar to singers such as Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Grace Slick, but here Senior holds her own amongst such company – transportive to a bygone era, yes, but by virtue of the pristine production and inviting instrumentation, there’s a slick modernity present as well.
This is a wonderful record that has been thought about in high detail and executed with an immaculate, artistic sensibility from start to finish. The songs present on The Passing Scene are timeless. The power, conviction and melancholy of this record not only takes you inside but allows you enough headroom to explore the beauty of nostalgia and hopeful anticipation for yourself.
“Don’t want to know where you have been, don’t want to know how this all ends…” she sings on closer ‘Time Traveller’. She’s made up her mind for herself about it all, pushed you in the right direction and now the journey is all yours.