Faustina Masigat’s self-titled debut album was born from emotional and artistic struggles.

The Portland singer-songwriter was heartbroken by the end of a relationship and stifled by her traditional musical studies. She felt lost, as if “moving from situation to situation with no anchor.”

Masigat grasped at every resource to escape monotony, even stepping away from her peers to be alone and self-reflect. That’s when she began writing her raw ballads and folk-pop songs with just enough country twang to help tell her stories. Eleven tracks show Masigat’s cathartic evolution and make up her first album, released April 6 on Mama Bird Recording Co.

“There is a mundanity in heartbreak that I struggled to break out of for years. The recording process was deliberately very bare bones because I wanted that tension to be as palpable as possible,” Masigat said in a statement. “If a person really commits to their own suffering, absolutely everything becomes colored by that action. There are songs that carry that weight more than others, but the whole album was inspired by that period of time.”

Masigat has already performed this month in San Jose and Oakland. She returns for shows at the Lost Church in San Francisco on April 26 and at the Big Easy in Petaluma on April 27.

Her lyrics are honest, revealing, and relatable as she bravely shares all — flaws, pain, vulnerabilities. "If I hadn't left / I’d still be begging your pardon," she sings on “Intervention." "It doesn't feel like a choice / You learn to live without it / Say in the end you might be happier."

She continues, “When my life is good / Am I just scraping the bottom? / Selling my jewelry at the pawn shop.”

Masigat’s gentle vocals and understated music perfectly deliver her intimate lyrics. She sings with the soothing comfort you feel when consulting a trusted friend.

Though her string-centric songs are at times melancholy, they are melodious. With a dainty yet powerful pluck of her acoustic guitar, she can summon a tear or a grin.

In “Colored Glass,” Masigat tackles her struggle with anxiety through sweet observations. She seems to find moments of joy in simple things like returning home, birds in flight, and colored glass in the sun.

The album’s first single, “One Day,” features the interplay of Masigat’s guitar stylings and Dan Bindschedler’s rich cello. On “Stay With Me,” her vocals ebb and flow with the pedal steel arrangement played by Tucker Jackson of the Minus 5.

“‘Stay With Me’ was my attempt at writing a love song, in the very traditional sense,” Masigat said. “It was originally recorded as a duet, but over time it made less and less sense conceptually to have any vocals other than my own on the album.”

M. Lockwood Porter, Faustina Masigat
The Lost Church
April 26, 2018
8 pm, $10

Fog Holler, Faustina Masigat
The Big Easy
April 27, 2018
7 pm

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