17 July 2006
Back in the bad old days I discovered interesting new music through my favorite college radio stations, Spin and NME. Hah! Remember when those were actually good magazines? Now that “punk is dead and I have a job,” I rely more on the Sunday New York Times music column than any other source. This isn’t to say that every week has recommendations I like (it does tend to go heavy on the jazz end, so I guess I’m on the younger end of the reader demographic), but I have been introduced to some really cool international and other non-mainstream musicians. Liz Durrett is one of those NYT gems. I picked up Husk on eBay for $5 and it has really grown on me. Durrett sounds like the best parts of Mazzy Star and Cowboy Junkies mixed together - swirley, ethereal sounds but with less psychedelia and a bit of twang. The vocals on “Captive,” which is the strongest and most distinct track, sound as if she’s singing through a telephone – and the effect is very personal and a bit haunting. Other favorites include “Ablaze,” “Bc,” (are those backing vocals or a theremin?) and “Slip.” I just ordered her follow-up CD, The Mezzanine, and from the thirty-second bits I’ve already heard, it’s going to be the perfect soundtrack to a hot and hazy July.