Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Annie Woodward -- 2 faces on a clown

I think Annie Woodward would have been most at home in New York City at the Sidewalk Cafe back in the early 2000s. I bet she and Kimya Dawson would have gotten on famously. But she's ten years too late and, according to her stunning opening track "The Drifter," she wasn't too impressed by NYC anyways. The Norwegian folk singer is part of a grand tradition of Scandinavians taking Americana and running with it. (Does anyone know the origin of this? And why they're so good at it?)

Whether backed by her own guitar or a full band, Woodward's arrangements are sparse and functional. Woodward's real strength is her distinctive voice, at once child-like in pitch but laden with life experience. It gives her songs, which tend to be dark and meandering, an unearthly, arresting quality. This is adventurous stuff and well worth your time.

Annie Woodward -- Facebook, Bandcamp,

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