Folk-rock/alternative roots artist Daphne Parker Powel, formerly known as Daphne Lee Martin, unveils “The Starter Wife,” the title track from her forthcoming album, set to release on October 14.
Talking about the upcoming album, Powell shares, “This album is an exercise in ‘radical trust.’ Younger me believed his vows to have and to hold, love, and cherish, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. He proved himself fiercely unworthy of it, and despite the myriad flags, I charged forward heart first. Instead of choosing to steel myself against future pain, I decided to let myself stay vulnerable, and even open my heart wider than I ever had. This album is my honest look at abandonment, codependency, and grief.”
The Starter Wife has been brought to life through the artistic ability of producer Duane Lundy and a posse of trusted friends who happen to be first-rate musicians. Central to this undertaking is longtime collaborator, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, and violinist Kieran Ledwidge.
“The Starter Wife” opens on edgy guitars, at once poignant and melancholic, riding low-slung drums and a thick bassline. Vaguely reminiscent of Joni Mitchell blended with 4 Non Blondes, the harmonics exude raw emotional colors and aching tones latent with visible disturbance.
Powell’s sensitive voice drips with passion, revealing hints of grief, weariness, regret, and unfulfilled longing, imbuing the lyrics with a plexus of immediate haunting savors, like the corpse of a cloud.
“There are things they never teach you / And there are gifts you cannot buy / There are no atheists in foxholes / And I was not meant to be a starter wife.”
Reflecting on the wreckage, Powell shares, “I learned you have to be accountable for the damage. In this case, we were both at fault, we were both selfish, and for my part, I’ve chosen to be kinder and truer to myself. One of the greatest truths I can carry away from this is that you’re really responsible for your own wholeness – you can’t leave that in someone else’s hands.”
Simultaneously visceral and moving, “The Starter Wife” delivers an unbridled exhibition of the complexities of love’s causes and effects.