Singer and songwriter Chris Pureka ’01 has released her third album, How I Learned to See in the Dark (Sad Rabbit). The musician usually performs solo, but she is currently on tour for the first time with a three-piece band, including an electric guitarist, a fiddle player, and a drummer.
In a feature about the new recording at Madison.com, Rob Thomas wrote:
“With its cryptic, sometimes ominous lyrics and dense arrangements, Dark goes beyond the stripped-down Americana sound that Pureka fans are familiar with. … Creating the layered, offbeat arrangements on “Dark” took Pureka nearly a year to complete.”
In the article, Pureka admits: “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. … This record had so many more layers, so many more different arrangements and parts. There were so many more permutations or possible outcomes to your song, depending on what you added.”
In a recent review of the album, New York Times music critic Jon Pareles described her work as “a testament to bitter longing and the ravages of lost love. … Ms. Pureka works the folk circuit, and the measured strumming and stark picking of her acoustic guitar are at the center of most songs, flanked by Appalachian-tinged fiddle and a snare drum played with brushes. … Electric guitar, pedal steel or bowed bass turn up in the background, just enough to widen and deepen the emotional chasms where Ms. Pureka stares down her sorrows.”