Kris Delmhorst

She may give the impression of being the sensitive type, but Kris Delmhorst isn't your father's folkie. Nor for that matter is she is one of your dad's old-school singer/songwriter types, i.e., the James Taylor/Jackson Browne/Joni Mitchell brood that defined the genre back in the '70s. That's not to deny their talents, or, for that matter, Delmhorst's. But if there's any deeper meaning to be discerned from the title of her excellent new album, it's that Delmhorst is an upstart of sorts, one whose creative expression creates a unique emotional connection. Indeed, this Massachusetts-bred performer makes use of a broad musical palette, one that incorporates percolating rhythms, sinewy, stealth-like melodies, and quiet, seductive vocals in a mesh that's beautiful and beguiling. These songs aren't suited for quick, passive listens — it takes longer than that to reach the lush textures that burrow just below the surface. An initial encounter can be deceptive; the brash percussion of opening track "Blue Adeline" actually enhances its ethereal feel, while the insistent pace of "1000 Reasons" morphs into a more celebratory stance. Or consider the shimmering designs of "To the Wire" and the quiet, contemplative deliberation of "Oleander" and "Freediver," which, despite their hushed circumstance, create indelible impressions and a hypnotic afterglow that lingers long after their final notes quietly fade away.

 
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