11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While her sense of romantic doom recalls the ‘60s English-folk chanteuse Sandy Denny (and Linda Thompson, for that matter,) Paula Frazer first came to public notice in the mid-‘90s as Tarnation, a revolving cast of American musicians exploring a mix of country-influenced ethereal wails. With the group’s personnel in constant churn, Frazer decided to solider on as a solo performer. However, in accordance with all indie singer-songwriters who change their identity as often as Prince (see Smog, Palace, Sun Kil Moon), Frazer has decided her latest collection, after years of solo records, qualifies as a Tarnation release. Her voice is cloaked in rich reverb and her dramatic sense demands she search for chords that serve a palpable finality. “August’s Song,” “Pretend,” “First Sign” and the title track crawl over what feels like a desert abyss to reach the promised land of harmonies and gently picked guitars. Her inclination to bill herself as a band once again will hopefully lead her to a healthy relationship with one, since it’s just that give-and-take dynamic that would further strengthen these lonesome tales.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While her sense of romantic doom recalls the ‘60s English-folk chanteuse Sandy Denny (and Linda Thompson, for that matter,) Paula Frazer first came to public notice in the mid-‘90s as Tarnation, a revolving cast of American musicians exploring a mix of country-influenced ethereal wails. With the group’s personnel in constant churn, Frazer decided to solider on as a solo performer. However, in accordance with all indie singer-songwriters who change their identity as often as Prince (see Smog, Palace, Sun Kil Moon), Frazer has decided her latest collection, after years of solo records, qualifies as a Tarnation release. Her voice is cloaked in rich reverb and her dramatic sense demands she search for chords that serve a palpable finality. “August’s Song,” “Pretend,” “First Sign” and the title track crawl over what feels like a desert abyss to reach the promised land of harmonies and gently picked guitars. Her inclination to bill herself as a band once again will hopefully lead her to a healthy relationship with one, since it’s just that give-and-take dynamic that would further strengthen these lonesome tales.

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