From her early days as a classically trained child guitar prodigy, Natasha Borzilova has consistently created music that says something, and in a fresh way. That hasn’t changed with Out of My Hands, her self-produced third solo release ― and her most personal collection yet.
Since the 2006 disbanding of Bering Strait ― the group of genre-defying Russian wunderkinds that brought her from Russia to America, spawning critical acclaim, a Grammy nomination, a 60 Minutes profile and a documentary film ― Borzilova has remained busy: as writer, recording artist, yoga instructor and, most important, mother. Despite a slowdown for the birth of her son, she found time to land her 2010 album, Balancing Act, in the Top 10 on the Folk DJ chart; guest on Art of the Song, the ongoing exploration of the creative process that is syndicated on more than 200 NPR stations; and perform on the acclaimed (and internationally listened-to) live radio shows WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour and Music City Roots.
Borzilova’s life experiences inform and enrich Out of My Hands: Eleven wise and lived-in songs written or co-written by the singer and delivered with her warm and conversational voice; intimate yet not short on power. She plays acoustic six- or 12-string guitar on every song, with simpatico support from a group of Nashville’s finest, whose credits include Delbert McClinton, Shawn Colvin and Bob Dylan.
Song topics include depression, letting go, personal growth and relationships ― universal themes rendered in sharp detail, with revealing metaphors that are all the more remarkable considering English is Borzilova’s second language. Family is a major theme. “Winter Season” recalls a conversation with Borzilova’s feisty grandmother, a skydiving nurse during World War II. “One Second Flat” addresses the death of Borzilova’s father, lead scientist in charge of the cleanup after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when she was 13. “Tiny Little Things” examines the shifting priorities and maturity that accompany parenthood. The hypnotic “Long Night” weaves together pieces of authentic Russian lullabies she has sung to her own children , partly sung in Russian and including a “rap” section about the sleepless nights of early parenthood by her husband and engineer John Caldwell.
Fans of singer songwriters will savor this captivating, intelligent and highly listenable artist that rivals the best in folk with tinges of pop, rock and Americana.
(photo credit: Rebecca Joy Major)