Musical Muse: Sarah Siskind

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I haven't been able to forget this girl since I heard her feature on NPR. She's a low-key powerhouse with an Appalachian-folk rock sound and deep, emotional rhythms. Listening to her, I'm reminded of what I love most about this music: it's crescendos, it's ability to synergize with your emotions at that crucial moment and transform your outlook, and what music sounds like when it's stripped down to its bare form, far removed from computerized audio manufacturing. Sarah Siskind has this ornate ability to lift and stir all your emotions concerning love, wonder, hurt, and whimsy. Even jazz pioneer Diane Krauss had to get in on this girl's wonderfully slight falsetto when she recorded Siskind's song "Simple Love" and won a Grammy, even, for another song Siskind wrote for her.

One of my stand-out favorites from Siskind's album "Say It Louder" (which you can honestly listen to from cover to cover) is "Conversations with Fear." Between cooing "Ohhh", she delivers a gem of a line in "You're the painter and I'm the color that you need" as she sings of two lovers holding onto each other between bouts of uncertainty.

The song "Worth Fighting For" sounds like it sampled the drums from Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield" and melded with Sugarland's front woman Jennifer Nettles, and then had a jam session to Dragon Force's "Through the Fire and the Flames" at the end. Lots of tricks in this girl's bag, and she's smart with how she uses them: unleashing one at a time, unexpectedly, in each song. Sarah Siskind is clearly in a league of her own with out-of-this-world tunes. She's the female Band of Horses for me, and I can't get my fill of her.


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