Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sondra Sun-Odeon

Really pretty good album from an artist who would have been part of the freak folk nation a few years ago (she's recorded with another band on Greg Weeks' Language of Stone imprint), but now seems to be mostly on her own. Witchy, spooky, lovely stuff, though.


There's a wildness in Sondra Sun-Odeon's altered folk, a sense not of home-y hedgerows and kitchen gardens but salty, windblown shores. It starts in her flickery voice, now a soft, shy murmur, now an in-drawn octave-leaping breath, now a raw bird-like cry cutting through the mix. This is Sun-Odeon's first solo album, following an album and an EP with Silver Summit, a Brooklyn psych-folk duo she shares with David Shawn Bosler. (A second Silver Summit album is apparently in the works.)

Sun-Odeon is not too tethered to traditional melody. Instead, she slices in and out of a tumultuous backing. All the elements of her songs -- throbs of cello (that's Espers' Helena Espvall), tremulous vibrations of violin and viola (that's Carla Bozulich collaborator Lenya Marika Papach, crashes and bumps of percussion (Ben McConnell) and her remarkable voice - seem to career in from the edges, meeting in the middle in a tangled urgency. Unlike Espers, which makes a space within ordered parameters for wildness (as in the guitar break midway through "Flaming Telepaths"), Sun-Odeon thrives in keening disorder. There's something feral, something unpremeditated about the way she darts and swoops through the guitar-strummed architectures of her songs.

There's a streaming song here, but I can't figure out how to embed it.

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