Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings and All

Two Hundred Seventy-Six Words: I first heard Thao Nguyen on a Daytrotter session. What I heard exactly was a Cat Power-ish voice over jazzy folk, but better than that just sounded. The music was familiar, warm, seductive, and fun. I've had an indie boy crush ever since. So much so that I surfed over to Kill Rock Stars just as soon as I heard they were releasing her debut. The CD arrived in the mail yesterday. It does not disappoint.

Included are the four songs from the Daytrotter session and much more. All the songs are fleshed out compared to those earlier sessions but not so much so that original joy found wasn't lost in translation.

The album opens with the speedy "Beat (Health, Life and Fire)" and you're already thinking "sped-up Cat Power" but the comparison ends there. "Bag of Hammers" follows with a plead to a former lover to return. The Daytrotter session is replenished as "Big Kid Table" grows up with a touch of piano and some sophisticated production.

The naivety I've loved for so long from NW labels such as KRS comes through in "Swimming Pools". Two of my favorite tracks from Daytrotter, "Geography" and "Feet Asleep", are fully realized and induce head-bobbing. "Fear and Convenience" continue the DT love with its highly feminist chorus of "Did he hurt you?/In a new way".

The album continues from there and is strong to the end. Albums like this make it enjoyable for me to discover new acts. Nguyen, like many acts on KRS, will surely stir up some attention with her debut album. If you haven't heard her work, check out the MySpace for further listening.

The one song that makes it worth $17.95: "Fear and Convenience"

Pitchfork Says: (They haven't yet.)


nipper said...

Thao Nguyen fits like my favorite pair of jeans. Thanks for the tip. wow.

comoprozac said...

Now, I know how to pronounce her name. Check it.