Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart (Universal)

 |   |  <1 min read

Melody Gardot: Sweet Memory
Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart (Universal)

There is nothing a music journalist likes better than a musician with a backstory, it just makes for better copy. And 23-year old Gardot has a backstory.

She spent a year in rehab.

But not THAT kind.

When she was 19 this New Jersey-born singer/pianist was knocked off her bike and suffered serious injuries. She couldn't sit, her short-term memory was impaired, she had constant headaches and became so acutely sensitive to light that she is now forced to wear tinted glasses. She still walks with a cane.

In hospital she began to learn guitar while lying down and slowly made her way back to the piano bars she had been playing previously. She did something on MySpace which got her an audience and a contract -- and this debut album places her directly into that winelight/soulful jazz-noir territory where she simply exudes sensuality and torch song pain, and keeps her music simple and direct, sensibly relying on her strong and assured (but quiet) vocals to carry the weight.

A few strings, a little lap steel or dobro, Hammond organ and the like add a touch of emotional colour but this is Gardot's showcase and if it falls into a little twee swing-jazz for a 3am club at some points it hardly detracts from the whole package.

Short album too, comes in around 33 minutes -- but that isn't the only reason it has been on repeat play around my way.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sam Gray Singing; Songs About Humans (Raw Onion)

Sam Gray Singing; Songs About Humans (Raw Onion)

This album by an expat New Zealander currently in Austria (but clearly itinerant in Europe and he tours, the album recorded in Oslo and released through a company in Denmark), is one which may... > Read more

Dawn Landes: Fireproof (Shock)

Dawn Landes: Fireproof (Shock)

Located somewhere between alt.folk and alt.country (sort of the urban/rural crossover) this Kentucky-born, New York-based singer-songwriter has supported the likes of Andrew Bird, Jose Gonzalez and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY offers a view of Television up-close

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY offers a view of Television up-close

On Thursday October 24th 2013, Auckland's Powerstation hosted one of the most anticipated concerts in a long time. Especially for those who were there during that first flicker of punk and New... > Read more

Irma Thomas, The Irma Thomas Collection (1996)

Irma Thomas, The Irma Thomas Collection (1996)

In music, titles are bestowed by The People rather than being handed down from above -- and they are so singular and specific that there can only be pretenders but no replacement figures. So there... > Read more