Reminiscent of the memories we gather, we are often reminded to relish in the days as they move past us, unaffected by the inevitability of death. We often forget that time is our most precious resource, non-renewable and infinitely bound to each of us to spend as we choose - usually lacking consciousness in our thoughts. Her third full length record under her given name, (previous releases were credited to Castlemusic), Canadian songwriter Jennifer Castle, creates an introspection on death and its accompanying friends on her latest album, Angels of Death.

Following the acclaimed album, Pink City (2014), Toronto born Castle appropriately recorded the album in a 19th century church near the shores of Lake Erie, where her family grew up amongst the family losses and struggles that imbue the ethereal angels and ghosts of the album. The arrangements of the album contrast between moments of minimal instrumentation, layered with her vulnerable vocal melodies that seem complementary of the overall theme. It could be felt at points that the musicality seems to move without increased colour, but it is only when you venture further into the album and the lyricism that it becomes clearer that this is likely to be understood as a reflection of the concept.

The opening track, 'Tomorrow’s Mourning' builds the foundations of the album concept of forthcoming grief, sang in an introduction that resonates emptiness almost like an immediate farewell. Castle presents haunting vocals above a simplistic accompaniment, that is preceding to the rest of the album. The melancholic painting of vocals in track and previous single, ‘Texas’ are grounding with a warmer tinge in personal details, that are still true to the albums continuity, “I see my father, and he’s been gone so very long”. The title track sees Castle wrestle with the angels of death using lines from fellow Canadian poet Al Purdy as she navigates through the “loopholes and catacombs of time” to weaving guitar lines in the backing.

Castle establishes her own poetic writing of Greek poet Sappho’s Muses in 'Rose Waterfalls', that lyrically embodies an intimate relationship with the muses. Considered as the source of knowledge in poetry and lyric songs in Greek Mythology, she paints images of the muses within her home, watching her as if her inspiration lies in control. In “Tonight the Evening”, the anthemic extension of instrumentation that rouses with lightly singing country guitar lines, carry a sense of travelling through the journey of life, uncertain of how long one may have and the uncertainty of change and life’s next steps.

The closing track on each side of the LP and thus the albums halfway and concluding points, is a reprise of a 2008 song entitled, 'We Always Change' illustrating the consideration and depth that Castle has detailed this record with - a cyclic metamorphoses of beautifully arranged strings and a reiteration of the cycles of life. Angels of Death is an album that reminds us that we cannot be fearful of death, but merely walk with it hand in hand through life and its illustrious changes.

"The fictional concept of death rears its head in so many of my songs, always on the periphery, or as a side note, or a reminder, a punchline or the bottom line, always sniffing around like a death dog. For once I wanted to try to put it in my center vision. In order to talk about death, I armed myself with the only antidote I know: writing. Is this a record about death or a record about writing? Hard to tell in the end. I began to think of poetry as time travel. I tried to write messages to the future."

– Jennifer Castle