Janet Batch was raised on country radio and that classic country sound continues to inspire her. Her songs reflect this and they could easily have been released in the 1970s and 1980s in their tone and style. Her earthy, rural tales are are brought to life by her band’s excellent musicianship and by Batch’s forcefully beautiful vocal. In ‘Too Much for Me’, Batch’s characterful voice rises over building sonic layers and mounting tension. The highlight is Sam Schmidt’s mesmerising fiddle, played with a haunting, melodic urgency.
Batch’s songs are character-driven narratives that have been influenced from her childhood on a dairy farm in upstate New York. She explains how those stories come to her: “The voice in my head sometimes sounds like an old man’s. Words I have never once uttered in real life show up in my lyrics. And some of the stories in these songs are just stories I told myself as a kid. No one told me otherwise.” ‘Too Much for Me’ features typically searching and poetic lyrics that tackle the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship. The song is accompanied by a thoughtfully-produced video, filmed and directed by KiRa Fritzky-Randolph. Particularly powerful is the eerie search through the woods, finishing at the lake while a child’s distorted voice speaks alongside the music.
‘Too Much for Me’ is taken from ‘You Be the Wolf’, Batch’s second album, which is out now. The album features a range of classic country styles, from honky-tonk to spaghetti western, balladry to waltzes. There’s excellent songcraft, sensitive lyrical narratives and, above all, Janet Batch’s rich vocal. Enjoy.