Sequestering herself in North Carolina after the dissolution of her previous band Crowsdell, Shannon Wright emerged with several single releases and finally the impressive full-length solo debut Flightsafety. It's a gentle, melancholy affair on which Wright plays nearly all of the instruments (including drums), augmenting the songs' piano and guitar bases with cello, harmonium, and organ. Wright's musical milieu is haunting indie folk-rock, of the type that's been tagged "sadcore" due to its intense, despondent introspection. In that vein, Flightsafety often resembles a mildly dissonant version of early Elliott Smith; Wright has fully mastered the contrast inherent in the gentle sense of swing that propels some of Smith's saddest tunes (see "All These Things"). However, Wright has her own tactics, creating tension through dissonant harmonies and angular chord changes (as on "Rich Hum of Air") rather than projecting outright bitterness. She can also be lilting and catchy, as on the indie single "Captain of Quarantine," which fortunately made the cut here. The elliptical, imagistic poetry of her lyrics is richly personal, conveying its meanings more through impression and feel than literal interpretation; Wright's restrained yet impassioned performances and tight melodicism supply all the subtext that's needed. Overall, Flightsafety is an extremely promising debut from a bright, accomplished songwriter. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

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