ETHEL CAIN –  ” Preacher’s Daughter “

Posted: December 31, 2022 in MUSIC

I’ve been obsessed with the runaway rogue narrative of Ethel Cain since I heard her single ‘Crush’ at the end of 2021. After playing her EP, “Inbred”, on repeat, I was thrilled to see that the American songwriter was releasing her debut album, “Preacher’s Daughter”this year.

Permeated by a palpable sense of lust, her evocative lyrics, reverb-heavy instrumentation and stunning vocals make for truly divine listening. From opening track ‘Family Tree (Intro)’, through to the sultry ‘Gibson Girl’ and stunning ‘Ptolemaea’, it’s the most sensual of sermons that absolutely sets my cells on fire every time I listen to it.

Hayden Anhedönia, also known by her stage name Ethel Cain, uses Cain as a precautionary tale about the effects that familial and religious pressure can cause on a person’s outlook on love and acceptance, and the dark path that trauma can lead a person down, which, as “Preacher’s Daughter” demonstrates, often has dire consequences.

“Preacher’s Daughter” conjures images of endless Midwestern plains, sweet tea, scorned housewives, and empty Southern church pews, save for one woman looking for salvation. With the record, singer-songwriter Ethel Cain created a gorgeous, tragic world that both looks lovingly, but also with disdain, at Americana. At times, she goes pop (“American Teenager”), and others, she taps into her goth and rock influences (“Family Tree,” “Gibson Girl”), and even hymns (“Sun Bleached Flies”), all to tell the story of the character Ethel Cain’s journey on the road, only to die at the hands of a cannibalistic killer.

Throughout it all, she’s as vulnerable as she was on the second floor of that “house in Nebraska.” It’s an album that’s sure to go down as a modern classic in American gothic. 

Seeing Ethel Cain perform live at Heaven earlier this month was also an experience I will never forget. Long live Mother Cain.

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