A lost gem rediscovered 30 years later
Sibylle Baier’s story is a wonderful one that is similar to one of my all-time favourite musical artists Linda Perhacs. Sibylle recorded her album Colour Green at home in the 70’s and then kindly handed out a few copies and then popped the masters in her loft. Fast forward 30 years and her son discovers the masters in the attic and unearths the gem of a lost classic. In an age of digital delete and lack of recovery, sometimes the physical old ways are the best.
Baier is alone with her acoustic guitar and there are no backing vocals – this is just a simple melody and vocal across the 14 tracks (except for the closing track). The recording does suffer from the lower guitar string plucks buzzing a bit but it has a warmth to it because its just a homemade labour of love. Sibylle’s guitar style and melodies are curious because they often start off quite bright but then pendulum in a few darker minor chords and she’ll circle around them. Throughout her voice is soft, gentle and thoughtful. She refuses to raise her voice – keeping it at a soothing tone and that makes the lyrics initially feel quite sweet at times, but when you really get into them, there’s a running theme of daily domestic frustration and the clinging to the family dream that may not have all the happiness she wanted. Early in the album, there is more optimism for the daily disputes as in “Williams” Sibylle repeats ‘talk to me’ with a riff that sounds like she’s literally rolling her eyes and goading in jest. but by the albums close in say “Wim”, she is calling out empty love for possessions far more sharply. The album is short with 14 songs clocking in at 33 minutes, but as most of the album is on a similar feel and thought, this works to its advantage as each track feels like a fleeting memory and because they are all catchy in their own way, you’ll find its an album full of songs you’ll replay over.
Sibylle Baier created with “Colour Green” a wonderful folk album that is stripped down, stark, emotional and introspective. It has a certain inner wisdom to it that’s difficult to obtain in something that’s mass produced and this feels like a housewife and mother’s personal diary being poured out onto your speakers. I’m so glad this lost gem was found.
Recommended track: Softly
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