A friend drew my attention over the weekend to the music of a New York-based singer-songwriter named Farah Alvin. As it happens, I’d heard Alvin before, but under the worst possible circumstances: she was part of the hard-working ensemble in The Look of Love: The Songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, a deservedly short-lived Broadway revue about which I had only brutal things to say in The Wall Street Journal back in 2003. Little did I know that as The Look of Love was going down for the count, Alvin was in the process of putting out a really exceptional debut album called Someday. You can read about it here and buy it here, and I strongly suggest you do both.
CD Baby, the Web store that specializes in independently released albums,
classifies Someday as “jazz-influenced folk-rock,” which comes pretty damn close to the mark in just four well-chosen words. All I can usefully add is that Someday is full of lots and lots of everything I like in pop music: good tunes, smart lyrics, gorgeous singing, spare and striking arrangements.
I especially like “Tragedienne,” a song about two women whose friendship is on the rocks:
It used to be you and me against the world,
A motley crew of two tenacious wits.
It used to be you and me were thick as thieves,
But now I guess you want to call it quits.
Why don’t you be the woman you used to be?
Why don’t you be my friend again?
Why not rewrite your life as a comedy,
If you’ve enjoyed the music of Erin McKeown, Jonatha Brooke, Allison Moorer, Luciana Souza, Dave’s True Story, the Lascivious Biddies, or any of the other slightly off-center singer-songwriters and pop groups championed in the past by the like-minded proprietors of this blog, my guess is that Farah Alvin will suit you right down to the ground. Check her out. (You, too, OGIC!)