Sunday, August 26th, 2007
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 76
|epo-555 / Mafia (Rykodisc/Crunchy Frog)
Dear epo-555 – I don’t know what browser share is like over in your native Denmark, but if you’re going to be trying to get people on this side of the Atlantic interested, you’ll need a website that works in Firefox. Lucky for you, your new record is strong enough to make me not hold that against you. I wasn’t overwhelmed when I saw you guys at SxSW 2005 but Mafia is a pretty great blend of electronic rhythms, ‘gazey boy-girl vocals and some surprisingly strong dose of country and twang that sounds like the missing link between the first and second Radio Dept records, though more extroverted than either. The way it balances sweetness and cacophony is positively Boo Radley-esque. I strongly approve. Now do something about your website.
|A Fine Frenzy / One Cell In The Sea (Virgin)
The stage name of 22-year old Alison Sudol is a bit misleading, as her music is not especially frenzied by any measure but within the realm of adult-contemporary-ish pop in which it resides, it’s pretty fine. Though the world probably need another “sensitive girl with piano” singer-songwriter as much as it needs another “sensitive guy with acoustic guitar”, A Fine Frenzy manages to justify her place by keeping things relatively low-key. Though she’s obviously got the chops, she doesn’t oversing, overplay or let her songwriting – centered mostly around themes of heartbreak, natch – descend into melodramatic theatrics and there’s a refreshing absence of excessive major-label gloss in the production. Instead, she keeps things relatively reined in and intimate and maintains a sort of wide-eyed naivitee that’s appealing. Currently on tour with Rufus Wainwright, A Fine Frenzy has an invite-only gig at the Savoy on Tuesday and returns as part of VH1’s “You Oughta Know” tour with Brandi Carlile on October 9 at the Phoenix.