Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Although this wobbly-voiced American folkie has been around since the late Seventies I confess I have never heard/heard of her.
On a first hearing I can't say I think I missed much: vocally she comes off like a shaky-voiced version of Daniel Johnston and Yoko Ono (when Ono gets in "ballad" mode). Notes are there but sometimes a little out of reach and that quivering top end of the range can just sound . . . well, bad actually.
That she comes trailing rave praise from Bill Callahan, Devendra Banhart and the likes ("one of the most beautiful singers ever" Banhart said) isn't exactly persuasive. There's that subtext that there is something more "authentic" about her than a more tutored singer, which I don't buy.
But you have to concede that, like Johnston, she writes unfiltered emotion and delivers it in a way which is nothing less than courageously honest. When she sings sad songs there is a genuinely heartbreakingly emotional quality about her, and her simple melodies and acoustic guitar (with guests on violin, slide, bass and so on sometimes) make this an even more direct communication from heart to heart.
However as with Johnston, she will always be an acquired taste. Always has been, I guess.