"Pepper Proud breaks the Indie-Folk mold with a beautifully rich and exciting album overflowing with heart." - Seattle Weekly
Riddles & Rhymes is the debut release from West Virginian turned Seattleite, Pepper Proud; a work achingly sweet, lyrically alluring and lush as the Appalachian rolling hills where Proud’s musical journey began. There’s a delicate and fluid dance where Proud’s authentic West Virginia folk meets the indie roots influences of the rainy city Proud now calls home. It’s no wonder lo-fi indie folk balladeer Damien Jurado, asked Proud to open for him, and the Seattle Weekly gave a full page rave review calling Riddles & Rhymes “a heart wrenching juggernaut that's as savory as it is sweet.”
Weaving thought provoking tales of a life’s voyage unfolding; Proud’s stirring emotive voice floats above softly plucked guitar, layers of string instruments and light percussion. Riddles & Rhymes portrays life as a journey, filled with interesting characters, relationships, spontaneous creativity and patient effort. Her message is simple- its time to share the love. love. love.
Recorded at Studio Nels and Parlour Trick in Seattle, the album was recorded and produced by Jason Goessl and mastered by Huntley Miller. Featuring a plethora of Northwest musicians; Todd Gray (drums/mandolin), Paisley Gray (stand-up bass), Annie Ford (violin/viola/cello), Jon Pontrello (banjo), Jason Goessl (electric bass), Ryan Ward (harmonica) Caitlin Sherman (piano), Michel Navedo (trumpet), Charlie Caddock (shovel) and Colin J. Nelson (backup vocals).
On the lead off track “Fishing Girl,” Proud casts her first line “I started out with my fishing pole – took out the good and found some more,” gently hooking and carrying the listener along through the first of 13 original songs. Exploring the varied nuances of an open heart on songs like “Wrinkled Love,” “Love You, Love a Riddle;” to character driven narratives like “Story of Blank” and “Bus Stop,” the prose and imagery is rich and deep. The catchy melody and refrain on “Dig,” captures a heart beating in rooted connectivity, while the moon smiles down upon Proud in “Lullaby.” The stories Pepper Proud shares are compelling and well crafted reflections on the riddles and rhymes of life. A refreshing perspective from a new artist, that shines brightly through every song.
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