Monday, November 10, 2014
Cassette Review: Anna Vo "The Condition"
[$8 // https://annavo.bandcamp.com/album/anna-vo-the-condition]
When trying to describe the music of Anna Vo I get stuck on the voice. It's never a bad thing because if I could easily say "Oh, she sounds like ____" then it would be a different story. Perhaps some of the best musicians out there today have voices though that are so distinct you can tell them by hearing them but yet there was probably a time as well when you had no place to compare them.
In a world where everyone seemingly sounds at least a little bit like someone else I find it refreshing that I can't find a point of comparison for Anna Vo, no matter how hard I might try and stretch some of the ideas I had (Mazzy Star, The Cranberries and Cowboy Junkies all just didn't seem to cut it)
The music is laced with guitar rhythms and notes that are somewhere between the soft folk of John Denver and the darker, louder guitar chords of someone like Rachel Jacobs. There are strings at times (violin) and melodies that would make any sea shanty writer proud, but overall I cannot explain why but this just sounds like music for the trees.
Though I'm not entirely sure why I just imagine this music being recorded in a forrest somewhere, Anna Vo surrounded by trees. Her voice is fine tuned at times as a classical singer might relate with but then at other moments she just belts it out in ways that might make those same classical singers blush.
It seems so easy to say that this is a strong voice with an acoustic guitar and though parts of it stray from the base it has an overall sound of folk music. You're probably already forming opinions based on that idea. What comes to your head first? Jewel? Something less popular and well known? Perhaps your mind is left without an answer? Whatever the case, you really do need to hear this to understand it.