Preacher’s Daughter examines personal pressures of others’ expectations

In the midst of today’s ever growing musical world, it can be hard to find anything; sometimes people don’t even know where to begin. While this may not show you every song, album or EP that you’d ever dream of hearing, let this inspire you to search and dive into the infinitely deep hole that is the modern music world.

This week I’ll be tackling something that’s outside of my wheelhouse, Preacher’s Daughter by Ethel Cain. Hayden Silas Anhedönia, known more professionally as Ethel Cain, is a singer songwriter from Tallahassee, Fla. Her music consists mostly of ambient indie rock with a bit of folk mixed in. 

Going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I had never heard of this artist prior. It’s a recommendation. It’s probably the second longest album I’ve reviewed next to Mellon Collie by The Smashing Pumpkins, coming in at around 75 minutes. A lot of songs at the front of the album are longer compared to the latter half, which are all around 3 minutes, give or take a few exceptions.

When I first selected the album and listened to the first song proper, “American Teenager,” it wasn’t as if my expectations were blown out of the water, as I came in with no expectations, as I had done no previous research into her music before. From my personal experience, it reminded me a lot of these slower, mellow, and oftentimes depressing bands that I loved, like Joy Division and The Cure. But this was different, it’s not as if it felt lifeless, but it did feel more dreary and gray by the specific instrumentation. Hayden’s singing does fit the music well, often coming in with powerful, emotional vocals. 

Overall, the album seems to take a lot from Hayden’s personal experience, both in church and out of church. It’s mostly about her life as a deacon’s daughter, but using fictional characters as vehicles for telling a story of a girl, Ethel Cain, running away from her home, only to meet a gruesome end. I won’t spoil anything about it, but I recommend that if this album does intrigue you, even though this album did intrigue me, and I can say that I did enjoy its themes, nothing really dug into my brain. Its themes of a restrictive Christian family can hit close to home, but it’s not a theme I haven’t seen before. I’ll be giving this album a 6/10. The music wasn’t really to my taste, but its theme really carried it for me.

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