Friday, October 7, 2011

You Should Be Listening To...

Three albums from a trifecta of women songwriters:

Björk: Biophilia 
I haven't downloaded the app yet, but you can listen to just the music and read a great review over at NPR. As always, Björk is an acquired taste but her songs reward patience. The lead tune, "Moon," starts off like some distracted chick in the corner of the coffee shop. (You know, that creepy one who's still kind of cute feral kitten kind of way). But then it finds its groove, the melody evolves and picks up the instrumentation and... wow. Haunting, sweet, rich and very, very different: everything I want from Björk album.

Marian Call: Something Fierce  
Marian was a Google Plus find for me, but I'm kind of astounded that I've never heard of her before now. She's a big geeky (feminist) songwriter, with a whole album of Firefly and Battlestar Galactica songs. (I only have one of those). The lead single from Something Fierce, "Dear Mister Darcy" is a slightly meandering thing at 5:34, but damn if it isn't a lot of fun:
Marian has the gift of a strong sense of melody, the craft to tell a good story and the courage to defy songwriting conventions. (A double album, half of which is devoted to Alaska? A nearly eight-minute epic called "Anchorage"?) To boot, she's got a sharp wit: "The Avocado Song" is one of most original metaphors for a break-up song I've ever heard.

Feist: Metals  
I'll be honest, I haven't had the time to give Feist's latest a really close listen. But the overall sparseness of it is powerful. I love the sense I get of sitting in some Paris loft listening to the musicians rehearse. Metals has that immediacy, along with the sharp, shimmering tonality of Feist's signature vocal. Forget about the run-away "1234," this is the girl from Let it Die all grown up.

To boot, Feist is playing the Tabernacle here in Atlanta on November 6. Who wants to go?

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