Monday, July 10, 2006

This time just the girls

Sol Seppy

Loves Boy - Sol Seppy
At first you can't quite place Sol Seppy geographically. Breathy vocals, minimalist beats and shivery strings (the latter igniting the hearth in what could otherwise be a chilly tableau) all suggest a certain je ne sais quoi ... Gallic shrug of nonchalance. But it turns out Sol Seppy is the nom de chant of conservatory trained Anglo-Australian Sophie Michalitsianos who, before recording her solo album, was a member of the extended Sparklehorse family. She's also written music for television documentary soundtracks--not at all surprising when you consider her gift for the subtle, the ambient, the gentle, unobtrusive nudge. From The Bells of 1 2 (eMusic).

Sugar - Carla Thomas
I like that Carla Thomas is known as "the queen of Memphis soul" and also that when describing her voice critics often use words like "modest" and synonyms thereof. Is it possible for a queen to be modest? Because when I hear "modest," I think retiring, self-effacing. And perhaps what they really mean is that she sings as though she's unaware of the vast reaches of her talent, and that she knows to give her audience a little less than they want, but always what they need. Either way, she's anything but demure in this early 70s track, shedding her 60s girl-group affectations and embracing funk with regal generosity--announced by august horns, riding aloft a canopy of fat, juicy beats, stooping just a little to whisper, "Sugar, don't you spread your love so thin," in her lover's ear. From Stax Profiles (eMusic)

Boos - Annie Hayden
"Boos" is a slip of a song with no structure to speak of. Lyrically, it's restricted, with some negligible exceptions, to the words "echoing boos" repeated over and over. Doesn't sound like much, eh? But it is. And not because, as the cliche goes, it's greater than the sum of its parts. In fact, its exactly its parts' measure if you poured them into a kaleidoscope and watched them flutter and twist and blossom. In conventional terms that means the guitars dance a round of baroque point and counterpoint and Annie Hayden sings alone, then is joined at the end (unexpectedly) by a boy. From The Enemy of Love (eMusic).


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