Album Review: Peas and Carrot – Big Girl Shoes

Peas and Carrot

Big Girl Shoes

When Iowa Public Radio asked Peas and Carrot lead singer and guitarist Audrey Robinson who her vocal influences were during a recent in-studio interview, she snapped back, “NOT Janis Joplin!”

“Janis Joplin” is too often used as shorthand for any female singer who has a raw, bluesy edge, but Robinson’s sound is less hoarse belting and more dynamic rock and soul reminiscent of vocalists like Linda Perry, PJ Harvey and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.

Big Girl Shoes is Peas and Carrot’s first EP release, and it has a loose, live, in-studio vibe that absolutely suits the exposed-nerve delivery of Robinson’s songs. Drummer Nathan Lantz and bassist Walt Goodknight deliver wave after wave of crashing cymbals and pulsing bass, perfectly capturing the relentless energy and emotion of Robinson’s song to an anonymous someone.

In the solo acoustic centerpiece “Jackson Soul,” Robinson sings about a disagreement gone on too long.

“Left my dishes in the sink, yeah, now it’s time to breathe / Looks like it’s my turn to concede / With my boots all laced up tight, I think I’ll just stay in tonight, howlin’ at the moon just like a dog.”

Her lyrics convey a last-minute change of heart, or at least holding on for a while before succumbing to the need to extend an olive branch.

On Big Girl Shoes, the unadorned and unadulterated testimony of the trials and tribulations of Robinson are laid bare before the listener. No evidence is left for the listener to figure out the exact stories behind the songs, but, damn—the aching, passionate emotions are riveting and compel repeat listens.

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