It takes a special kind of talent, confidence, and self-awareness to create an album like the recently released Columbus Field, and it is difficult to believe that the young lady responsible for both the music and lyrics of this work, Maritime transplant Molly Thomason, is a mere nineteen years of age. Brimming over with energy, spunk, and just a little bit of tongue-in-cheek bite, her third album is chock-full of the anthems of youth and perfectly showcases her powerful and emotive voice.
Columbus Field boasts a strong, old school classic rock edge with a healthy dose of pop and country influence thrown into the mix. Nearly every song is a fun hybrid, yet each melody is unique and distinguishable. Molly’s voice is full of strength and soul, bringing to mind a young Melissa Etheridge, while her heartfelt lyrics capture the very essence of a life stage. Singing predominantly about relationships, Molly differentiates herself by keeping the overall mood light, yet honest and real with a few barbs thrown in here and there. She is also unafraid to address mature topics such as drug use and sexuality, singing about smoking and girls so naturally that one doesn’t even blink. The album title, Columbus Field, refers to a park in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and Molly sings of her real life experiences living in the small-town Maritimes, which ultimately sound like a hell of a good time.
The album opens with the undeniably catchy “One for the Books,” which acts as an ideal and representative introduction to the record as a whole. Memorable melodies leave one humming these tunes for days on end; the equally affecting “Silence Don’t Scare Me” and “Buttons” also promise to linger in one’s head with their infectious hooks. Fortunately, quick and witty lyrics consistently compliment the tunes to great effect. “Never Wanna Come Down” reveals an adult side, while “Black Eyed Boy” revels in a harder rock sound. A standout song is the one slower, piano based “Stone,” which momentarily changes the pace and allows Molly to showcase the beauty in her voice and raises goose bumps even after multiple listenings. Each song tells a story, and listening to this album, one feels as if they are receiving an intimate glimpse into the life of an individual both serious and plaintive, while also fun and full of excitement.
Molly has cited Bob Dylan as a strong influence on her work, and the impact is evident in this album. Her lyrics are honest and full of emotion, and benefit from a playful approach that never threatens to take itself too seriously. I was fortunate enough to attend the release of this album, and was treated to a concert full of energy and confidence from a natural performer clearly at home on the stage. The most impressive aspect of this album, however, is the voice that it showcases. Presented here are the vocal stylings of one far beyond a mere nineteen years of age, and a promising career is undoubtedly and deservedly in store for Molly Thomason.