Folded Wings is an utterly devastating album and one that can be a real comfort at the same time. Emily Richards put together this album to cope with the death of her sister from being an innocent victim in a drink driving accident and the tracks here are all about a tribute to her life and rememberance in her death.
“Too Young” had different versions made but this is the more band version of the two. The piano led melodies and Emily’s emotive voice that so easily transitions between whisper and outcry are real assets to the song which is made all the poignant given the tracks story which really laments the why in the situation.
“Since You’ve Been Gone” takes things painfully slowly with real empty mourning, whispery vocals and funeral procession open strums of acoustic guitar. There is a certain vulnerability in the vocals in this track especially that is utterly heart wrenching.
“Little Annie’s Song” is an extended version of absolutely beautiful original from Emily’s second album “You Give”. Given it was written years before Annie’s death, the lyrics “you’re gone, you’re gone, you’re gone” are even more powerful as a coda. The additional ending is really beautiful about when everyone will see her again on the other side.
“Light Me” is almost uplifting. One of the strongest songs melodically and mainstream wise, it speaks of how although her sister is gone, she can still return to her in times of need to find peace and solace and it’s really a lovely tribute given real justice in a simple but very effective song. “Folded Wings” is possibly the darkest track in the album with its sparce piano and keyboard arrangement and chattering vocal delivery. There is urgent despair with this track, even with background sobbing at one point. It’s really very powerful.
“Will It Ever Be” is another rolling piano and vocal retelling of thoughts from the past and feelings as if Emily feels like it should have been her instead of her sister. There’s a freeflowing time to this track which really feels like its a one take live performance and that heightens all the emotion.
“Whisper To Me” is also very melodic and the percussion really moves the song along. In album terms this is easily the most radio friendly and easiest song to approach the album from. Talking of her sister revisiting her, or the hopes of it to happen, its really a wonderfully spiritual track which is helped by pace and bounce of the track although the ending is very poignant again with Annie’s voice mail message closing the fading track.
“I Need Someone” is a slow wander through loneliness and emptiness and it conveys it really well before “Precious Child” ends with a positive image of how Emily remembers her rsister just alive and smiling and it’s the best place to finish an album of mourning. “In my heart, you live on, always there, never gone, precious child” really hit the nail on the head as it were, that if you lose someone, you never lose what you had already shared and you can keep those memories for comfort and love.
“Folded Wings” is something very intimate and revealing, not just about Emily’s own state of being, recovery and almost therapy in writing these songs, it tells a story that’s universal for everyone that’s lost someone. If you need to find comfort in some reflection, this is the album I most recommend.