Seattle based duo Tekla Waterfield and Jeff Fielder have released the perfect pandemic antidote with “Trouble in Time”. The songs were all written during our national “pause” and released this January. Overall, the songs describe the uncertainty and unsettling fear that we all felt. This universality allows everyone to relate to and understand the emotions of songs like “Better Days”, “Alright”, and the title cut “Trouble in Time”.
Our segment starts with the songs “Thief” and “Let There Be” from the new release. The tone of the entire album is mellow as a response to our surrounding chaos rather than echoing the political strife which so filled this past year. The songs do not avoid these issues however with examples of “No Justice, No Peace”, “Wrong Time State of Mind” and especially the title cut. “Trouble in Time” , in my mind, is an American Prayer and includes the lyrics, “remember unity, remember grace, leads us to a better place” followed by an indictment of our previous administration’s failings in these qualities. It’s a 2020 version of “Bridge over Troubled Water”.
Our conversation touches on the residency which allowed the duo to record on an idylic island in Puget Sound. The first song even includes some birdsong from the cabin window. We talk about the difficulty of writing topical songs which can transcend the specific time it was written. The fact that the entire world experienced these emotions and feelings help their universality. The tasteful touches of Jeff Fielder’s instrumental brushes are very effective throughout. Tekla’s vocals and lyrics are complemented perfectly in a quiet way yet bold flourishes abound. It’s a great marriage literally and figuratively.
“Trouble in Time” is a great example of fine music and art that has been inspired by our national dumpster fire that was 2020. Many artists have found creating in this past year difficult, I’m glad that circumstance is not universal. Tekla and Jeff have gloriously documented this past year resulting in a positive hopeful set of songs that will inspire other musicians to do the same.