For those of you who haven't read my introduction post, I'm the official unpaid intern of this castle and as anyone who's had an internship knows, I'm now knee-deep in a plethora of random neglected tasks that have been collecting dust for the past 10 months. As if I didn't have enough to do already, last week I made things even worse by casually mentioning that I happen to enjoy listening to downloads while running on the treadmill.
"Oh," said Brad, eyes glazing over with a sudden manic joy, "I have MP3s for you."
So in honor of all the hours I've logged so far shifting through the 7867 new press pitches in the RFC inbox, I bring you the first official Gems From The Pitch Pile...because the motto of every good intern is "I Torture Myself So You Don't Have To." (If somebody knows that in Latin, I'll get it made into a T-shirt and will post the results)
Today's selection is from Minnesota native Alexandra Hope, a member of the singer-songwriter subset. After rocking the French underground for a while, Hope has returned to the States with a vengeance, recording her first LP in three days with loving assistance from The Fiery Furnaces' David Muller. You can taste a bit of the Furnaces in the looping, wavy tones of the instruments on her records-- particularly on "Invisible Sunday," which alternates between murmuring lyrics and a chorus that rings like a bell. That smacks of flowery reviewer prose, but it's true. Alexandra Hope sounds clean and affectionate, like a good friend, but with a note of uncertainty to her voice and lyrics that makes her music seem sincere. Also the simplistic approach to the album adds to its appeal; the whole thing is Hope on guitar/vocals and Muller on piano/drums. It's light without sounding thin, simple without sounding dumb. In short, it's a delicate record that accomplishes a lot in nine bass-less tracks. Here's a couple of free downloads:
(Invisible Sunday is out March 17, 2009 from Manimal Vinyl)