Austria’s B.B. Cole Releases New Album

Austria’s B.B. Cole spins together an Americana, pop and country palette in the new album, Outgrowing Ourselves. Perhaps a nod to challenging her own feelings and putting them to song, the title congers up ideas of pushing ourselves beyond our own limitations. Cole delights with her motivating lyrics and rowdy guitars. Songs like “Emotional Baggage” and “Some Kind of Religion” are both clever and philosophical. B.B. Cole, the moniker of Barbara Bressler-Kolembar, is an artist well-deserving of all the praises headed her way.

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Leading off the lineup is “She Gave Me Feathers”. This subtle country crooner is warm, and blends inspirational lyrics with angelic vocals. The song is about how another woman – be it a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or friend (or all of the above) helped put feathers into Cole’s wings to help her soar. And fly high in “She Gave Me Feathers” she does. I really felt like this song captured the authenticity of Cole’s joyful voice, and the realness of her artistry. I felt like that in just about all the songs, but for some reason this first track really stuck out.

“Demons” and “Emotional Baggage” are the next two tracks. Both have bright melodies and again, you feel a comfort or ease in Cole’s vocals. She then takes the listener to “Some Kind of Religion”. This particular track stood out to me because I felt like it was more of a departure in her subject matter. It felt more like a statement and interpretation about society than the others. That’s why freedom is some kind of religion, you have to believe it’s there, she sings. My mind wandered to this idea of being in debt, of being so fiercely tied chasing the dream of wealth and security. Can we really be free if we are always worrying about money?

I felt completely on board with the railway-like “My Decision”. You can even hear a train whistle in the background, with the fast tempo and rising index. Cole shows off a bit sassier and attitude in this fiery track (see what I did there). Then she slows down the flow just a bit, but doesn’t lose her cleverness. She’s quite the wordsmith in “Pieces of Me”. Just when you think the rest of the album will be filler, she keeps the interest level high with the very fun. “When I Was A Little Girl”. I was never cool, never had the chance, she sings. You can almost feel her grinning as the blazing, melodic guitars dance throughout the song.

The last two tracks are “Wear Your Crown”, a song that should be the theme song for any Girls Inc., or girls-centric organizations, and “Tears + Fears”. In “Tears + Fears” Cole shows off a different side of her vocal artistry. Everything about this slow, close-feeling song felt special and unique. It’s an interesting bookend to an up tempo album, and it certainly steals the spotlight. What a way to end an album, and what a great sonic experience overall.

Chadwick Easton

Music

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