Treelines and Skylines was inspired by considerable time spent in the small pockets of true forest that remain out west: the sequoias, redwoods, douglas firs, spruce, and cedars. There’s no place where life feels more in balance than in an ancient forest. “Treeline” was conceived while standing on top of a rock face while looking across at a grove of giant sequoias in the distance. “Song for Joyce Kilmer” tells the story from the tree’s point of view. “Into the Trees” explores the disunion between nature and man and the virtues of life in balance. In contrast, “Skyline” exposes the fallacies of city life and human self-importance. In between are songs about aging and our medical culture, freedom and travel, love and renewal, a musician’s hard choices, death with dignity, racism and war, and losing a parent. The album concludes with an instrumental inspired by author and soundtracker Gordon Hempton, played entirely on a single acoustic guitar.
Here’s a little bit about the album:
Folkstar’s new album Loud and Clear is an intensely ambitious 16-track work of art. Folkstar’s Kim Dicso and Sue Cag speak their minds on this album, with songs covering life and death, suicide and dreams, the flaws of our society and the beauty of our world.
Folkstar tackles teen bullying in the song “It Gets Better” (inspired by the It Gets Better Project). They scrutinize our manufactured lives in “Fabrication” and “Everybody Knows” and expose animal exploitation in “Human” and the jazzy number “Abolitionists.” Crowd favorite “Could You Be” is an anthem about love and dreams, as is “Dream Thieves.” Songs exploring death include “Final Curtain” and “New Eyes,” which delve into the emotional complexities of losing someone. Of course there are songs about love as well, such as “Trampoline” and “Ice Queen,” reminiscent of Folkstar’s debut album Emotional Bootcamp. Finally, the title track “Loud and Clear” tells the story of Cag’s hearing loss and talks about a “wake up call,” a common theme throughout the album.
Folkstar fearlessly creates music of substance. Although formed in North Carolina and labeled folk-rock, their music features a variety of influences including west coast rock, indie, blues, jazz, and of course, acoustic singer-songwriter folk and intense guitar laden rock ‘n’ roll.