Varied in its themes as it is delivered like a warm embrace, Sharon Goldman’s songwriting is unvarnished folk-pop. Every Trip Around the Sun prides itself on humanity, and it seems to be that it does so with a “nothing more, nothing less” attitude. Capturing the human condition in a bottle may sound like the sort of jargon that every marketer worth their mettle would try selling, but here, it isn’t snake oil. As she’s been doing since the early aughts, the New Jersey singer-songwriter is making music that taps into the compassion that all of us are capable of embodying.
‘A Garden’ is inspired by Leonard Nimoy’s last tweet. It’s a loving and gentle album opener that eases listeners into a storytelling experience— picturesque, gracious, and sweet. Here, one is treated to a treat for the ears from a sonic perspective, as well, developed in crystalline fashion. As much persists throughout the remainder of the voyage with Every Trip Around the Sun, and Goldman’s innovative endeavors with instrumentation in her arrangements are only beginning.
As much can be gleaned from tracks like ‘Migration’, wizened by atmospheric compositions that offer themselves wholly to the significance of the story being told. Here, it’s very real, as Goldman reflects on the arduous journeys of refugees and migrants. Dusky electric guitar tones flicker through the darker shades of the track between layers of vocal harmony, painting a clear picture of the scene that she sets before listeners through her warm timbre.
In that same sense of conveying an important theme, ‘Sunset at the Border’ could not be any more timely. Focusing on the heinous treatment of migrants and refugees in America, Goldman, like so many other venerable names before her, turns to protest through folk music. Without beating around the bush, she speaks truth to our hearts to the point that it can make one viscerally uncomfortable. Shining a light on such horrors is a move not every artist would be willing to make, but by using her music as a platform for humanitarian crises, Every Trip Around the Sun elevates itself.
Otherwise, there’s only so much that can be said about a songwriter as tried and proven time and again as Goldman. For years upon years and release upon release, she has established another essential portion of a severely underrated portfolio. She leads beautifully with her voice, letting it be the basis from which stories are told with ardor and music swirls, eclectically and arrestingly.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm