Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I'm listening to - "Dreams of Breathing Underwater", Eliza Carthy, 2008

I heard about this release - Eliza Carthy's "Dreams of Breathing Underwater" - through two different sources. One was via my officemate Gavin. He recently bought a folk compilation CD, and on it was one of the cuts from Carthy's CD. And then it also showed up as one of the summer releases discussed on an episode of NPR's "All Songs Considered". Both songs caught my attention...especially "Follow the Dollar", which was previewed on the NPR podcast.

I didn't know much about Eliza Carthy before receiving this CD. (It was a birthday present from Gavin, by the way. This is the first of many birthday gifts that I'll be writing about - John gifted me with most of my Wish List on Amazon UK as part of my birthday!) She's English folk royalty. Her father is Martin Carthy, and her mother is Norma Waterson, and all together they form a group called Waterson:Carthy. Eliza's a talented singer and fiddle player. Her latest CD shows that she's also a talented writer...and visionary.

If you expect "Dreams of Breathing Underwater" to be classic English folk, you'll be terribly disappointed. It's so innovative. It's funny. It's quirky. Sometimes it's even a bit strange...but in a good way. On several of the cuts, there's an incredible contrast of instrumentation which could accompany one of Texas' best alt-country groups with Eliza's folky-toned voice. And you hear Spanish influences and even some Cajun (to my ear, anyway) overtones as well on other songs.

It's one of the most fascinating CDs I've heard for a long time. I believe I'll be coming back to listen to this one over and over.

Favorite song: "Follow the Dollar" (opening track)

Favorite lyric: (from "Like I Care (Wings)")
So fall in, fall out, fall down, fall about
I am failing in my credit and I think I have to get a proper job
and I'm shouting at the telly like I care.



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