So starts H.C. McEntire’s sophomore release, Eno Axis. It’s a set of directions delivered with assurance and authority, reaching the listener without pretension almost as a sermon or spell. McEntire has always had one foot planted in the traditional country gospel roots of her upbringing while boldly wrestling with its complications, creating an Americana sound of her own. But that has never rung as true as it does now on the transcendent psalms of Eno Axis.
Unlike McEntire’s solo debut, LIONHEART, which was recorded in sporadic bouts and fits while she was touring, Eno Axis is firmly rooted in place. After two years working all over the world as a backup singer in Angel Olsen’s band, McEntire came home to a hundred-year-old farmhouse tucked away in the woods of Durham, North Carolina, right on the Eno River. Here, McEntire was able to refocus. Like the blue-collar Appalachian kin she descended from, her days were scheduled by the clockwork of the Earth’s rotation: splitting wood, stacking it, weeding and watering the garden, walking the dog past the bridge and back—and every evening on the front porch, watching dusk fall. Eno Axis emerges from this time as the strongest work McEntire has shared yet.