February 18, 2016 by 1888media
Illuminating and mesmerizing is the new collection of songs by Los Angeles singer-songwriter Maureen Toth. Issuing February 19, Cut Flowers is a profoundly moving journey that richly examines the subtleties of the human condition and state of the world, including loyalty, determination, idealism and force of spirit.
Co-produced by guitarist Jim McGorman, (Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, Kate Voegele) and Carlos Calvo (David Duchovny, Adam Levine), Cut Flowers is a collection that expresses Toth’s modern vision, which is colored with similarities for the soul-baring songwriting of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie, and the powerful truth-seeking of Patty Griffin, Ani Difranco and Bob Dylan.
Over the course of two years, a myriad of collaborative sessions produced a transformative compilation, with deeply satisfying songs exploring the internal landscape and touching on tough subjects that challenge the human condition.
Each producer brought their respective strengths to her work. McGorman added a meticulous indie pop sensibility to the lush landscapes of “Apocalypse,” “Running While Standing Still,” “Little Girl,” and “Soldier,” while Calvo, who regularly plays guitar in her band, infused layers of ethereal exposition to the protestations of “Pottstown” and “Killing Time.”
The first song “Soldier,” which was released as a stand-alone single in 2014, was inspired by the profoundly moving life story of peace activist S. Brian Willson, a war-torn Vietnam veteran who transformed into a Veterans for Peace spokesman and peace activist. To emulate the theme of redemption by activism, the companion music video uses hauntingly expressive images of children playing with plastic G.I.’s. Conceived and directed by Grammy-nominated Director Nathan Hope, whose credits include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Tomorrow People, Gotham, and Lucifer, “Soldier” is a powerful reflection of the patterns of war in the modern world.
Then McGorman and Toth deconstructed the Blondie classic “Call Me,” stripping out the blunt disco-punk, and turning it in to a nuanced and intimate anthem.
Enchanting is the inherent quality in Toth’s forthright material that draws comparisons to Jenny Lewis, Shelby Lynne and Lucinda Williams, while her vocals call to mind a more delicate mood akin to that of Beth Orton, Suzanne Vega and Beth Gibbons of Portishead.