At first listen

Last Monday I received a package from one of the best CD stores on the web, CDBaby, containing four new albums, so I thought that I’d post my first impressions of them. If any of these descriptions end up sounding at all intriguing to you, go and listen to some of the sound samples for yourself.

Daughter Darling – Sweet Shadows [Listen and Buy]

I think the easiest way to describe Daughter Darling is to say they mostly sound like Sarah McLachlan fronting a trip-hop band, though that isn’t all there is to it. Natalie Walker sounds remarkably like Sarah, and I found myself thinking more than once that this was the sort of album that Sarah should have made after Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Still, the comparison probably isn’t entirely fair to Daughter Darling, who have more to offer than just another beautiful voice. I like this one a lot.

the innocence mission – befriended [Listen and Buy]

Apparently the official release date for this new CD by the innocence mission isn’t until August 26th, but when I went to CDBaby they had them for sale, so I got myself a copy. I’ve loved this band ever since I first heard their first album (back when I was in college), and I was glad to hear that they were putting out something new. The band is different since they parted ways with their major label a few years ago, but the lack of a drummer on the last couple of albums has, if anything, only emphasized the things I like about them. Karen’s voice is somehow both quiet and strong at the same time, and Don and Mike provide exquisite backing for her excellent lyrics. This is sure to be one of my favorite albums of the year.

Kat Terran – Lion & Blue [Listen and Buy]

Kat Terran’s first full-length album is….hard to describe. I guess I’d call it an edgy sort of folk rock, thought there are strings mixed in there too, and Kat’s voice is one of those unique ones that you’re either going to like a lot or not like at all. So far I like this one, and we’ll see what more listening brings.

McKinley – Goner [Listen and Buy]

McKinley is a singer-songwriter with a gorgeous voice, the sort that makes her stand out from a lot of those who are doing roughly the same blend of folk and pop that she is. This is another one that I like a lot.

Overall it was definitely a very good bunch of CDs, so thanks to those over on the ecto mailing list who recommended them!

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