Eden Fine Day – Things Get Better. Self-released, 2013.
Eden Fine Day is a Canadian singer-songwriter from Vancouver. In the press release that we got for her, it talks about how distinctly Canadian her sound is, and how important her status as a member of the Sweetgrass First Nation is to her music. However, when I listen to her album Things Get Better, I don’t hear anything that screams,”This is a First Nations album” or “This is a Canadian album,” even on songs that specifically reference her identity (“The Res,” “Ndn Children”). Rather, Fine Day was created a pretty universal, albeit personal, pop album.
I think that the balance between personal and universal is often difficult to find, and few singer-songwriters do it well. Fine Day manages to stand firmly on that line, whether she is talking about a break up (“Alone Again”) or her brother’s death from Leukemia (“The Res,” “Damaged”), Eden manages to be just specific enough to make Things Get Better a sort of pop-rock memoir, yet open enough that it’s easy to relate to.
Sonically, this album sounds a little like a lower-key Rilo Kiley. However, there’s a certain coldness, a distance, in the music itself that contrasts the closeness and warmth of Fine Day’s voice. Perhaps that’s the Canadian sound the press release mentions, the influence of living in the North. Regardless, this coldness adds a twinge of sadness in even the more poppy songs (like the especially Rilo Kiley-esque and deceptively poppy title track), which I think is the whole point of the album: that, as the aforementioned title track says, “Things did get better/ after they got worse.”
Ultimately, the narrative of Things Get Better is one of growth and of finding peace, but only after the world trying to destroy you? The narrator? Eden? piece by piece. Fine Day sings of pushing through the bad things in life and becoming stronger because of them, and she manages to do so without sounding melodramatic or preachy. In doing so, she has managed to create an album that is both poppy and important.
After reviewing an album, I often take a break from it, deleting it from my mp3-player to make room for the next album. Things Get Better is staying in my rotation. It’s that good.
Things Get Better is available on iTunes, as well as in physical format directly from Eden Fine Day.