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Going through rough times can certainly change you as an individual, not to mention give you plenty to write about. This is the case for Portland, Oregon based singer/songwriter Leigh Marble, who released his third full-length album last year, titled Where The Knives Meet Between The Rows.
A followup to his last album, Red Tomato, Where The Knives Meet Between The Rows has more of an indie-pop sound, with a mixture of fun, upbeat songs and emotional ballads. The emotional side of the album comes from Marble's struggle with depression over his girlfriend (now wife) being diagnosed with cancer, as well as issues within his band.
Once a five-piece band, several members quit or moved away, leaving Marble to do things on his own and struggling to finish the album. However, that didn't stop him, and he managed to release an impressive 10-track album full of angst and raw emotion with the help of some local musician friends, such as Erin McKeown, Jesse Emerson, and Rachel Taylor-Brown.
The album begins with a song called "Walk," which displays the anger Marble felt during this rough period in his life, and starts out, "I'm going to walk until the anger's gone." "Walk" is one of the slower, darker songs on the album, yet still manages to be catchy and moving.
The album also contains more upbeat tracks, such as the second song, "Jackrabbit," which appears to be about corruption, with lines like, "Who's bought up shares of your loyalty? Let's follow the dollar and see."
Also in the upbeat category are songs like "Holden" and "Pony," both of which have comical elements to them. "Holden" is a song that slams hipsters, proclaiming, "You horrid haters, oh, you horrid haters. Oh, you sweet, dumb creatures, missing half your features. Disfigured by design, and singing with half a heart. Who taught you to hide away the most beautiful part?"
"Pony" describes a drunken night with a woman, stating, "I was single and you were drunk, by midnight your battleship was sunk. And the waters were clear, the waters were open. One half scared and the other half hoping, that the night would end in unholy matrimony."
Other notable tracks include "Nail," an eight minute long piece filled with instrumentals and a message about never giving up, as well as "Inebriate Waltz," dedicated to the poet Sam Simpson, who drank himself to death.
Marble's Where The Knives Meet Between The Rows is an impressive followup, especially considering the conditions surrounding it, and dives deep into the emotions, leaving a lasting impact upon the listener.
Listen to the first track off the album, "Walk," below.