She's on Sugar Hill, an obviously impressive label, and this is her second album with them, released last year.
I can't write intros at work. I feel too bottled up and staunch with my words. Blech.
Anywhos, here's the EPK for this album - get a taste!
Naturally, I've spoken far too soon. The rhythm is entirely picked up and changed to more of a Latin beat for "Come Around." The lyrics are still thoughtful and the music is still raw. It's interesting and I'd venture to say different than anything I've ever heard before. For a polished album, it has a tone of being in a single room with a group in a circle, just letting go into the music.
"Annabelle Lee" takes this whole thing completely down a country/bluegrass/folk road (I can totally see people boxing it in to any one of those genres). The fiddles and banjos involved bring on a much different sound than before, and the harmonies and rhythms sing of a porch swing, simple and beautiful moment. The song is a little more on the dark-toned side, with an interesting story to tell for sure. A lost love story, I think. Don't quote me on that - I'm over-generalizing. Anywhos, here's the song as performed for The Transatlantic Sessions in rural Scotland!! In this, she plays alongside one of our previous review-ees, Sam Bush --
"My Muse" certainly assumes love of some sort. The guitar line that opens follows throughout is much more twisted than expected. It's got an interesting darkness, yet the chorus is quite incredibly beautiful. The harmonies almost come across like the Beatles' work, and the song is a "Dawson's Creek" theme, just 10 years late.
"Old Smitty" gets us traveling fast down that old country road with a fast-picking guitar and fiddles bringing their A-game to the table. It's instrumental (I assume, as a minute into a three minute long song I have not heard any vocals), and the instruments trade melody leads back and forth aver the course of a verse or so each. I'd say it's like that basement jam session I mentioned earlier, but everything's a little more calculated, and everyone's just a little more crisp into their mics.
Things get taken way back a few notches and immediately for "The Tourist." It is everything the last song is not - it's slow, un-exciting, and include vocals. There was no real pause between the two, so excused me for being a little thrown for a loop as this one goes on. It takes a minute for the heart to settle down after so much excitement! There's this attempt by the banjo to pick things up, but it's continually told to slow down - which is good, because it sounded plain ol' weird in the middle there.
"Here Nor There" sounds just like "Norwegian Wood" at the beginning... okay, it's obviously not exactly like that, but that's the sense I'm getting, and now I can't get that idea out of my head. Even as she sings on, it's a wispy number with her own story of what's going on. Yes, the chorus picks up the pacing a little more, but I'm still on a minor mental trip for this one.
In a story that I oddly really want to better relate to, next up is "Gypsy." The descriptions of this girl are longing, yet far too understanding. The music is heartfelt and actually very warm. The folk sound is gone and replaced with a light mainstream sound that speaks to young ears in a different way. This is one of those hidden gems, I think, that more people would appreciate if they took the three minutes to really hear it. In fact, you should hear it, so I've included this video from one of my favorite Nashville stations, Lightning 100's (I still own a sampler CD from when I lived there) "Nashville Sunday Night."
Added To My Playlist:
"Ring Them Bells"
"Here Nor There"
Okay, well, wow. That was incredibly awesome. The experience may have had its ups and downs, but general final impression is that this girl is impressive and thoughtful, with music that transcends genres in some of the best ways possible. She is a part of this new generation of music that is finally starting to speak to more people, and I truly hope we hear more from her!