Music

CD Shorts

Reviewed this week: Sharon Van Etten, Lover, and Danilo Perez

Comments (0)
Thursday, November 04, 2010

Sharon Van Etten
Epic
(Ba Da Bing)

There's something about Sharon Van Etten's voice that bleeds European, like a thick ichor of mead flowing from the pierced heart of an injured goddess. In fact, she's quite American, and there are noticeable traces of time she spent in Tennessee: occasional bluesy, whiskey-flavored vocal tones and vaguely Southern drawls, even some Liz Phair-style brazen lyrical attitude. Still, the thick, wet production and drippy melodies taste like Radiohead or The Cranberries to the ear, and there's even a hint of Amy Winehouse in Etten's voice. The instrumentation, backing band parts and harmony vocals are minimalist—probably a remnant of Nashville studio training camp. Any way you dice it, it's clear that on Epic, you're getting something of a rare peek into the soft center of someone who sounds like she'd usually skin you alive with a glance from behind her (mercilessly European) cigarette. —Tom Sturm

*

Lover
Death Stays Awake
(independent)

Death Stays Awake is a three-track offering from Kane Gelaznik (also of El Spectre and other local acts) under the moniker Lover. The surreal, abstract effort, which clocks in under 10 minutes, covers more ground than such a short time should allow.

"Greece" in particular offers surreal images of physical breakdown over cheerful, minimal guitar melodies with a strong Bon Iver influence, and later shifts toward a moodier realm, with Avey Tare-like digital washes, rushing aural winds and jarring drones. —Paul Bachand

*

Danilo Perez
Providencia
(Mack Avenue)

You can put it on the list right now—Danilo Perez' Providencia is one of the 10 best jazz CDs of 2010. The Panamanian pianist has made his reputation with his ability to turn the staid and expected into something special, and Providencia is a major statement from him, asserting his abilities as composer, performer, arranger and bandleader. Always at his best with sax greats, Perez works here with the outstanding young alto sax player Rudresh Mahanthappa, and at times they call to mind the Coltrane-Tyner team of the mid-'60s, particularly on "The Maze" and the elegy for Perez's former teacher, "The Oracle (Dedicated to Charlie Banacos)." The album is full of shifting, almost cinematic sounds, written primarily by Perez. He never hesitates to add a bassoon here, a wordless vocal there, even a steelpan to create music that is subtle, yet full of romance and emotion. —Jeffrey Siegel

Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

Nightcrawler: Booty Time
Ludlow’s Rock The Boot concert pairs donations with decibels; iconic Hartford rock channel succumbs to a higher power.
CD Shorts: Spoon
Nightcrawler: The Gallery Is Open...
…to sharing the bill on its national tour; Robillard, Pitchell lend talents to Stafford Blues Fest.
CD Shorts: Jon Hassell
Two Times the Festival Fun
Nightcrawler: Northern Exposure
New music series elevated to higher ground; Timberlake’s catalogue finally rivals his pop performance.
CD Shorts: Mostly Other People Do the Killing
Sunbeams and Turpentine
Wishbone Zoe makes adventurous music with a big bag of sonic tricks.