Molly Germer “Remedy”

I love when albums like this show up in my inbox. Molly Germer is a composer and violinist from Philadelphia who has played with a wide range of artists from Japanese Breakfast and Tomberlin to The Who and Rhiannon Giddens. She’s got incredible range and it’s on display throughout her first solo release, Remedy. While it’s Germer’s incredible violin skill that immediately stands out, the way she weaves these sounds into moving, intricate shapes, and ideas is the real sticking power.

Over these ten tracks, potent silhouettes fade in and out of view, leaving a combination of stark moments of longing and an air of riveting triumph. “Wait” sails through the sky with graceful flutters, swirling violin passages looping through the air like birds in an elegant ballet. Germer’s mix of slow, drone-like movements and quick flourishes is intoxicating. My emotions run the gauntlet, flitting from yearning to relief without warning, the former having a stranglehold on “Still,” where anticipation is flooded with a surprising gravity.

Not everything on Remedy is introspective and calming, though. The raucous “Castle” sees Germer shift into shred mode adding distortion to anthemic sequences that, in conjunction with the cavernous thuds, seem more at home in a stadium than a PAC. It’s invigorating, cathartic. A timeless darkness imbues “Call,” low-frequency drones adding a heaviness to the dramatic soundscapes. I keep imagining a midnight escape, the dread in the music rising closer to the surface as torch-bearing captors begin to gain ground. There’s a fear and urgency throughout that are captivating. “Call” is stunning.

Each sonic vignette on Remedy is memorable and each tells its own story. Whether it’s the ear-shattering crack of lightning at the end of “Storm” or the subtle, surprise rhythm of “Notice, Germer’s music has a narrative force. In the distance, as the credits roll on closer “Theme,” endless possibilities are spread across the horizon. I can’t wait to hear what Molly Germer does next.

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