Addy Harris sings with a dewy softness in her group Rat Tally, but you can hear and feel the iron will behind her performances even over a roaring rock band. On Rat Tally’s debut album, the brand-new In My Car, the Chicago native sets diaristic confessions to sometimes tender, sometimes hard-edged indie-rock melodies that draw their charismatic power from folk, bedroom pop, and emo. (She’s got some experience with the latter—she previously fronted a mathy Boston-based group called Clearing, and no matter how loud her bandmates got, her powerhouse vocals matched their volume and energy.) Throughout In My Car, Harris addresses grief and heartbreak without completely surrendering to despair or helplessness—she’s a reflective songwriter, and the wisdom in her lyrics places those challenges in the rearview no matter how deeply felt they remain. On “Allston,” she recalls a springtime visit to some old Boston haunts, and her gentle singing and strummed guitar evoke the strange unease of visiting personal landmarks that hold a library of complicated memories—as well as the little things that make those memories worth remembering.
Rat Tally’s In My Car is available through Bandcamp.