Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Music: Francesca Valle

This may be a tad premature, as I've only heard three songs from this artist, but in my defense, they were really good songs. Besides, if you're not duking it out over some major (or more often, minor) political point or another (and I'm giving myself a tiny break from that today), what better way to use the internet than to give a boost to an artist in need (and deserving) of more attention?

With a h/t to my political blogging neocon nemesis, Donald Douglas for his offhand mention of a woman in one of his classes, I discovered the music of Francesca Valle.

Being an all out sucker for chick singers with great voices, I was immediately sucked in by the tune Splinter, which automagically starts playing as soon as her site opens. (...currently, anyway--When she's famous & someone stumbles on this early review, who knows what'll be playing on her site?). The song is plaintive & "city-folkish" (those who listen to WFUV Public Radio, either here in NY or via the online stream, should already have a pretty good idea what I mean.) It's not too heavy--though it rocks, building from a quiet little song into something much more emotional & raw--and it's lyrically pretty damned good, too.

Since there were only two songs available, (and I'd already heard one), I figured I'd splurge and spend my big $1.98 on both. If the second song didn't live up to the promise of the first, I hadn't lost much. After a minor glitch in getting my songs (which ended up working out in my favor 8>), I received RubberSoul, and a special bonus track for bein' so patient with the glitch, called Hate. Both more than live up to the promise of Splinter.

RubberSoul is a bit heavier, but still has that adult alternative/city folk feel. I wasn't expecting the harmonica, but it blends nicely and fits with the song.

Hate really catches my attention. It has that building, tension & release quality I like so much in Trey Anastasio's guitar work with Phish, and reminds me alot of another female lead band that had some popularity aways back. (I'm doing everything I can to avoid any of those "this song sounds like ... [name artist here]" lines in this review. Francesca does put me in mind of other bands large & small, but I suspect that she'd rather you'd take her as herself, first... ...or at least make your own damned connections, rather than having mine stuck in your head as you listen.) This song is much heavier, leaving the city folk genre behind. Any good rock station worth it's salt would be proud to have it in rotation...

As you can see from her site, her home turf is the Long Beach, CA area, so those within driving distance of there will prolly see her long before I do. (I checked for her gig the other night... Mapquest said it'd take me 44 hours or so of straight driving to get to the club she was playing. That ain't happenin' any time soon... Nevertheless, I'm on the mailing list, waiting for the announcement of that inevitable east coast tour... 8>)

That's my pitch... If you have the opportunity, I'd check her out...

More info: Francesca Valle on MySpace Music

PS: You know... It occurs to me that I usually write about dead musicians, rather than live ones... Other than my mention of Antigone Rising (now Antigone 4, or Antigone, featuring Shannon McNally... I'm not sure where that stands...), I've mostly done eulogies for artists lost... Feels good to write about an artist & have something (a whole lot, in this case) to look forward to from them, for a change...

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