Artist: Lauren Zettler
Album: Live in L.A.
Soundling vocally like a younger Paula Cole or Vanessa Carlton, Zettler comes across as a somber, mature folk artist. When she lets loose on tracks like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (a cover of a Bob Dylan tune) and “Over My Head,” her midwestern drawl begins to show its teeth, and her bittersweet lyrics and melodies grab your throat. The fact that she performs with a live band on this album (mandolin, clarinet, drums, percussions) greatly increases the tonal variety of the music here. From jump-up rock-n-roll to tender folk ballads. “Thank You” is a quick, folksy ditty that would put the Indigo Girls to shame. And then there’s the Radiohead cover “Creep” which encapsulates her alienation in a pretty package with ribbons and bows.
She changes tempo midway through some of her tracks, bringing surprises along the way (which her band gets through without a hitch). You can tell that she’s trying to make music that lasts, that aims for something greater than a 4-minute track on a CD. Look past the limitations of her guitar playing, and the live recording’s imperfections (clipping /distortion at some of the louder sections) and you will find a fearless young artist baring her aspirations and experiences on the stage for all to hear. To listen is to feel voyeuristic anxiety. Am I supposed to hear this? Or is this a private conversation between her and the universe? Turns out it’s both. And we are lucky to be included in the audience. Bravo, Lauren.
Note: The YouTube video above is footage taken on her recent “Midwest or Bust” tour.
7 MP3s, encoded at 128 kbps, 44.1 kHz stereo. Zip file is approx. 30 MB in size.
Download the free album (approx. 30 MB ) by signing up for her artist newsletter on her website.
Artist Website: http://www.laurenzettler.com