by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
While the circumstances may not be bright, it's time to get to know Jack, the solo project of singer/songwriter Brittany Costa. Today marks the release of her debut EP, Resting Places, an immediate record that tears through the burning rage and heartbreaking grief that comes from the passing of a loved one. Using her songwriting as a way to work through her loss, Costa recorded her debut in Vergennes, VT with Nick Dooley (Flagland) and Becca Ryskalczyk (Bethlehem Steel) co-producing and playing drums and bass, respectively.
The album opens with the scathing "Rightful Rage," and it's not just a clever title. This song rips the paint from the walls. It's a bold introduction with heavy distortion, stampeding drums, and Costa's passioned yelps of "I have fucking value," which sound painful and sincere. The mood shifts with the gorgeous "Honest to Dog," a stunning and forlorn song with silky strings and Costa's strong voice leading the acoustic track. The immersive structure of the song plays on quiet spaces and emptiness, a perfect accompaniment to Costa's sincere vocals.
Resting Places thrives from texture, adding and removing elements at just the right moment, with each song progressing in unique patterns that retain an emotional heaviness. Epic swoons of vocals and guitar are pulled to their most skeletal and the sentiment is never lost. "Harbor" moves at a slow crawl with violin accompaniment but just as the song begins to swell, everything is torn back to its basics with Costa's reflections and haunting whispers capturing the momentum. "Sister System" keeps the somber mood afloat with beautiful vocal harmonies that counterpoint the painful memories. It's stunning and honest emotion, art used as a release, and captured in its purest form.
"The Look" is the culmination of the album, a release of the record's mounting tension, with cathartic outpouring. It's not a resolve to the pain Costa's experienced, but an opportunity for her grief to unravel, a necessary loss of control that comes with acceptance. The song's tangled guitars build over a tight rhythm, slowly giving in to Costa's emotional vocals and gorgeous delivery. Resting Places is a record of hurt and reflection, but there's a sense of serenity that comes with it.