thoughts on music, design and literature

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Recommendation: Keren Ann

It’s been awhile since I’ve stumbled across something new and worthwhile, but this singer’s got me good. And the thing is, she’s really not all that new….I’ve just been in a cave, apparently.

Keren Ann is an Israeli-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter. She writes, among other things, acoustic guitar ballads: but not the clichéd whiny-coffee-shop-emo variety. She writes GOOD SONGS. This is the one that caught my attention…it’s called “I’m Not Going Anywhere”:

Here’s another one….check out the Lou Reed-inspired semi-spoken vocals (the classical term for this is singspiel…forgive me, but I’m in Professor Tin mode these days…):

“Lay Your Head Down” makes me feel like I’m listening to the Velvet Underground, and I don’t mean that in a derivative way; I mean that she’s very economical with all her musical gestures, which is something that I admire in musicians, and practice in my own writing. She gets straight to the point—no fussy intros, no long lead-ins. I believe strongly in that.

Here’s one more, called “Chelsea Burns.” just because I like to do things in threes:

UPDATE: It’s Tuesday evening, and I’ve been listening to “Not Going Anywhere” on repeat for the last 72 hours. That song has hit me in a soft spot. The chord changes, the phrase lengths, the performance…..I just love it!

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