photography by stefano galli Living Water isn't the first solo album by Feels guitarist Shannon Lay, but it feels like it—it's an album and an announcement at once by a musician who's discovered new clarity of sound and purpose. And strangely—happily!—even with her most complex arrangements yet, she sounds more free than ever. (Water magnifies the power of Lay's prior releases, with reverent production and less-is-more accompaniment by top-flight guests: violin from Feels bandmate Laena Geronimo, cello from Sonus Quartet's Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, bass by Julia Holter/Tara Jane ONeil collaborator Devin Hoff and the Cairo Gang's Emmett Kelly on bass/drums/ very deliberate synth.) On Water, she's obviously drawing from a 60s British folk tradition that reveres a green and pleasant land, but she adds character and definition all her own. There's something in Water that recalls the spirit of proud but lonesome private-press folk albums that stole a few days of deluxe studio time, or of