Record Review: Anna Vogelzang
Canary In A Coal Mine
“Mature, banjo-infused female-fronted chamber folk”
Madison, Wisconsin’s Anna Vogelzang has a voice that can knock down a listener, clashing from a sweet, nearly conversational tone into a confident country-girl howl.
Her slower-tempo songs would fit well in a K Records roster, thanks to her sweet mosey, lovable and, at times, precious and intimate numbers (“Canary” and “Volcanoes”). The pacing of Canary In A Coal Mine is terrific. She follows slow balladry with ambitious and busy ensemble pieces that feature guitars, percussion, banjos, horns and strings like her extraordinary “Whiskey Drawn,” which juxtaposes a thirty-second vocal introduction with a great turn featuring rambling, strummy guitars, fiddles and Vogelzang’s strong-willed female tone. The frenzied “Whiskey Drawn” conjures images of long-nights of boozy dancing, Southern Comfort and Neko Case’s flaring octaves.
Vogelzang’s poetry swirls with the newness of love and the invincible feeling of meeting someone who instigates the requisite, almost infinite, elation of the honeymoon, singing “It’s so hard to come clean / It’s so hard to name all your wishes out loud … still my full heart sings you are my one and only” (“One & Only”). All told, Vogelzang’s latest release is varied and jubilant, showcasing an ambitious country-gal’s precious and strapping female-fronted songwriting. (Paper Anchor Music)
Engineered and Mixed by James Frazee and Frank Lopez
Recorded at Hobo Sound, Weehawken, NJ
Mastered at the Blue Room at the Magic Shop by Warren Russell-Smith