Just Like That, She's an Indigo Grrrl

Prom (Daemon Records)
Amy Ray

By Kory Wilcoxson

You probably know Amy Ray as one half of the Indigo Girls; she's the salty to Emily Saliers' sweet. That harmonic tension works well for the duo, but you sometimes get the feeling that Ray would like to kick over a few amps and bust out in a riot grrrl stance, just to mix things up a little bit.

"Prom" certainly has those moments, like the punky "Blender" and "Driver Education," which rocks hard and could have been the "Freaks and Geeks" theme song. But what marks this album as different is Ray's vulnerability. She's not afraid to wear her sexuality on her sleeve and she intimately explores the joys and trials of moving through adolescence and adulthood pushed to the fringes of mainstream society. Although much of her lyrics are politicized, she doesn't so much take a stance as she asks honest questions: "How do we sing against the system when we're the main offender?"

There's nothing folksy here; even the slower songs like "Rodeo" are tinged with a lyrical urgency. Whereas the Indigo Girls are mainly acoustic, Ray soaks "Prom" with electric guitar and drums, unleashing her Southern rock roots and punk passion. It makes for a nice side trip from her day job and gives listeners a new perspective on her personality and her struggles to be herself.

Find out more at www.daemonrecords.com/amy.