I first came to know of Aoede through social networking, where, on Twitter, she sent me a direct message that had a link to one of her earlier videos, I lost, you win, from her Push & Pull release. I enjoyed the song and video enough that I figured it would be worth my while to find out some more about her.
Affair with the Muse is her latest album, released on March 15th of this year. The album features seven new songs:
1. Fairy Tale Love
2. Does Your Heart Ever Stop Feeling?
3. Crave Me
4. If You Already Knew
5. Love Proof
6. Fall on Your Deaf Ears
7. What You got
Affair With the Muse’s lyrics are dominated by reactions, observations & questions pertaining to the matters of the heart. While classified as pop, it’s really not fair to categorize Aoede as a pop singer. Her style is more complex than what the term, pop, categorically suggests.
The music is at times ethereal yet at others, possessed with an aery, whimsical and pop inspired. While the music itself stands on its own merits, it’s Aoede’s vocals that you’ll find yourself immediately entranced by. She’ll shift her singing style, between tracks but also internally within an individual song. The shifts in tonality are deliberate yet never overdone.
There are points where you’ll picture an older styled, perhaps 1920’s club, where Aoede is on stage, singing behind one of those old RKO microphones, bringing you back to an earlier, less stressful time. There are also moments where you’ll compare her to Frente or Tegan and Sara. Then you’ll find those where she’ll remind you of Dido or Enya. But pinning her vocal tendencies down to any one artist is not my intent, nor would it be plausible to suggest. The point I’m trying to make is that she shifts range and tone thoughtfully and appropriately, creating her own unique style in the process.
What I enjoyed the most though, is her ability to use various vocal inflections to her advantage. From bop to scat, to sounds you’d expect to hear in David Lynch films, it’s her inflections of voice that make her words and music so attractive, even seductive, to listen to.
If you enjoy the artists I’ve mentioned above, you should appreciate Aoede as well. This album is like a cool breeze on a warm summer day. You’ll find yourself reflecting upon your own experiences. You’ll find yourself deep in empathy, as if her words were meant for your ears alone. You’ll also, if you’re anything like me, enjoy the subtle instrumentation that is hidden beneath her voice and the pleasantries within a slow, yet inspired pace and the calming, peaceful nature that it brings.
You can purchase her albums on itunes as well as on Broadjam.com, where you’ll also be able to preview full songs.
I think, as with all “undiscovered” artists, you should give them an opportunity, as there’s no rule stating that an artist must already be established for their work to be enjoyable.
Her first two releases, Push & Pull and Ear Candy, are also worth your listening pleasure. Take a listen and let me know what you think.