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

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Roky Erickson with Okkervil River: True Love Cast Out All Evil (Unspk)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Roky Erickson with Okkervil River: True Love Cast Out All Evil (Unspk)

The most recent album by the emotionally damaged Daniel Johnston, Is and Always Was, found his often fragile and shaky acoustic pop placed in the context of a band -- and while it was fine to hear... > Read more

The Drab Doo-Riffs; Home Surgery (Liberation)

The Drab Doo-Riffs; Home Surgery (Liberation)

Because Elsewhere has had to adopt a policy of not reviewing EPs (just so many full albums without inviting that particular landslide) Auckland's Drab Doo-Riffs -- three EPs and the vinyl-only... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

GUEST WRITER NICK D on a weird night and Indo-dance pop

GUEST WRITER NICK D on a weird night and Indo-dance pop

Returning from the success of last year’s incredible sell-out reopening of Auckland’s St James Theatre, A Weird Night Out is back. On Friday 8 July, the Weird Together collective... > Read more