KUMD Album Review: Rachael Kilgour

Mar 22, 2017

Credit Rachael Kilgour

Rachael Kilgour | Rabbit in the Road

Minnesota native, Rachael Kilgour explores unmarked territory in her latest release Rabbit in the Road. Known for her lyrics on social issues, Kilgour puts her activism on hold and searches inward for cathartic release after a failed marriage.

The album unravels pent up emotions on her rocky relationship with her now ex-wife and where she fits in the life of her stepdaughter as Kilgour picks up the pieces.

There is bitterness; a certain bite in the words Kilgour sings that lets listeners know her wounds are healing, but still fresh. “Deep Bruises” attempts to look at the subconscious drive that led her ex-wife astray, “everything that’s new must turn to old, and then what? And then what?  And then you’ll erase the past and start again. You keep fighting loneliness with man after woman after man.”

“Hit by a Bus” is Kilgour’s brazen response to her marriage’s dissolution, “you cut my best leg off above the knee and I will learn to fly without it, but how dare you turn around and punish me for the limp, for the scars I am left with.” An unapologetic look at her side of the burning bridge her ex-wife lit, the folk singer leaves no rock unturned as she picks apart what went wrong.

Kilgour’s pain and vulnerability are twisted in the tracks that make up Rabbit in the Road, but this album is as much for her stepdaughter’s grieving process as it is for Kilgour. “Ready Freddie” and “Mama” are focused on the experience and relationship between Kilgour and her stepdaughter as she comes into her teenage years.

“Ready Freddie” seems to be Rachael Kilgour’s rendition of “Hey Jude” as she expresses her unwavering confidence in her daughter’s ability to make her own place in this world. “Mama” follows Kilgour’s journey into becoming a mother in her early twenties. All her faults and successes in trying to raise a child while still trying to raise herself now float to the background as she puts the pieces of a broken family into a new puzzle. “I’m not just your used to be step-mom and you’re not just my used to be kid. Until the end of time, it might take long; I’m going to love you like I always did.”

Rachael Kilgour’s somber and resilient voice relives some of her hardest moments in heart-wrenching honesty. A troubadour for grief, Kilgour’s Rabbit in the Road holds universal lessons of heartbreak, parenthood and healing.