Record Review: Anne-Claire Meditates on Grief and Loss on I Still Look For You | Record Review | Indy Week
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Record Review: Anne-Claire Meditates on Grief and Loss on I Still Look For You 

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Though it's been a long wait between albums for Anne-Claire Niver, it seems I Still Look For You is as much of an emotional release for Niver as it is artistic. Much of her second LP features Niver dealing with loss and the stages of grief, particularly after the unexpected death of her grandmother, who appears in a voicemail recording on one track.

As dour as that may sound, Niver infuses hope in the airy lead single "Give it Up," which she describes as both the record's thesis and a personal mantra. "Use my grief as some sort of map," she tells herself before repeating the album's title, giving way to a warm saxophone solo that evokes her own wistfulness. Featuring a three-piece horn section, "Loyalty" is the most immediately infectious tune, a jaunty reflection on romance where Niver performs incredible vocal acrobatics around the melody.

While Niver's vocal gifts are immediately obvious, navigating such revealing territory demands holding up both ends of the singer-songwriter title, and she proves up to the task. "I'm not afraid of loving/I'm not afraid to move on/I am afraid of losing something that's already gone," she confesses on the climactic closer "Second Time," which features flourishes from a stately string section.

Equally expressive as a lyricist, Niver complements her personal compositions with lush, dreamy layers of meticulously arranged, expertly executed instrumental contributions from a host of familiar Triangle talent. Ryan Johnson, David Dollar, Charles Cleaver, Daniel Faust, and producer Alex Bingham form the core band, with guest contributions from the likes of Libby Rodenbough, Chessa Rich, and Molly McGinn.

Using soulful vocal performances to bridge classic pop sensibilities with jazz, the elegant I Still Look For You makes its mark as one of the area's most unique and original offerings while offering cross-generational appeal with its genre-blurring approach.

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