Oh what fun I had playing these songs. I hope you have fun listening to them.
Southern Bitch “Don’t You Think It’s Time” from Snake In The Grass
Paul Westerberg “Knock It Right Out” from Mono
Drive-by Truckers “Why Henry Drinks” from Alabama Ass Whoopin’
Audra Mae “Ne’er Do Wells” from Audra Mae & the Almighty Sound
Sparklers “New, Used, Vintage” from Crying At The Low Bar
4H Royalty “Virtues, Spices & Liquors” from Where UFOs Go To Die
Charlie Parr “Gospel Plow” from Keep Your Hands On The Plow
Hold Steady “Stuck Between Stations” from Boys and Girls of America
Anna Tivel “One Thousand & One” from Before Machines
Kris Kristofferson “I Got A Life Of My Own” from Songs Of Kristofferson
Hard Working Americans “Blackland Farmer” from Hard Working Americans
Kierston White “Happy Noon Beers” from Don’t Write Love Songs
Lucero “On My Way Downtown” from Women and Work
H/T to Rachel and Adobe and Teardrops for turning me on this.
You don’t see me write much about female vocalists because most of the time they don’t have the qualities I look for in vocals. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule but I’m all over the map with them: Brody Dalle, Alison Mosshart, Ella Fitzgerald, Jolie Lindholm, Dessa, and Sinead O’Connor, just to name a few. Now most of those artists won’t be releasing anything new and some really don’t fit the vibe here, not that I’ve been stopped by that, but the fact remains that I am picky about female vocalists. This may not be fair but it does provide a situation wherein finding a female vocalist that I like is something really cool fo. As you might have guessed, by the post title, Anna Tivel is one of those and I am really happy to have discovered her album Before Machines.
It’s just the way the night is coming when you wish it wouldn’t come
’cause in the yellow light of morning you forget the darker things you’ve done
But in the magic light of midnight you can be a bird or be a beast
But it doesn’t change the way your heart looks to spread your wings are bare your teeth
While I don’t know what I look for in a female vocalist, I do know Anna has it in spades. This entire album is stories told through sultry, half-whispered vocals that somehow manage to not disappear in the instrumentation even when there is full band along for the ride. As if that weren’t enough the songwriting is striking as well. Here’s the kicker, this is a folk album which takes it slightly further away from what normally draws me in. I feel like everything about it is understated in a way that makes you sit up and take notice. As Anna’s voice rises and falls I find myself unable to multitask as I am paying way too much attention to what’s happening in the headphones. I think this would be the perfect soundtrack to sitting on a porch swing, watching fireflies, a nice cold beer in your hand, your arm around someone that you want to spend the night with…
Map Of The Stars
Grace And Gasoline
Bird Or Beast
Stalk Anna on Facebook, buy Before Machines from Fluff & Gravy, visit Anna’s official site.