Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Anna Tivel -- Before Machines

The first riff of "Five Dollar Bill," the opening track of Anna Tivel's sophomore album, made my brain turn somersaults. Don't worry -- it was in a happy way.

Tivel manages to capture the performance styles of my favorites: Kendl Winter's pointed songwriting and Dylanesque delivery, the plaintive tones and sardonic humor of Kathleen Edwards, and the breathy otherworldiness of Sonia Tetlow.

That's not to say Tivel can't stand on her own merit. I'm just saying my brain was confused by the power and glory of all the things that tickle it happening simultaneously.

But sometimes there is too much of a good thing. Clocking in at an hour and six minutes, the middle section of the album -- which features a number of songs that are just well, sad, gets  a little wearing. Please forgive the backhanded compliment: Tivel believes in her songs with such intensity, that listening to it all at once ends up being a little much to handle.

Tivel's clearly got a voice -- both in the literal and figurative sense. This is the start of something great.

Anna Tivel -- Official, Purchase from Fluff and Gravy Records

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