Album : Sera Cahoone : Deer Creek Canyon

I saw Sera Cahoone in San Diego two years ago. The unassuming, gauntly arresting singer/songwriter earned my respect within minutes of setting up her own stuff as the usual din raged over from the other side of the Soda Bar, which has to be one of the toughest local joints for an acoustic musician. The bar’s about 10 feet from the stage. There’s no solid wall between the section full of beer-slamming, yelling, and general revelry and the performance side, which is a long, narrow, claustrophobia-inducing box with space for about 12 people in front of the stage. It’s a good set-up for rock bands, who have a relatively easy time commanding the ears of all assembled.

Cahoone’s pretty far from a rock band. She often finger-picks her guitar with a lovely, water-rippling effect. Her vocals, which compellingly combine silk with a few specks of gravel, are quietly steady, without much in the way of up-and-down dynamics. Still, she easily mesmerized those of us who were there to see her, making it easy to ignore raucous shot contests and pick-up lines. And Cahoone, who used to play drums for Carissa’s Weird, knows something about percussive dynamics. During tracks such as “Naked,” on her upcoming Deer Creek Canyon album, her assured strums contribute to the kind of floor-board crunch I associate with Neil Young.

The LP is as quietly compelling as everything else I’ve heard from Cahoone. If you’re hungover, burnt-out, or just tired of being barraged by busier music, the album could provide a perfect antidote. Even when she cooks, as on the wonderful whirl of “Nervous Wreck,” Cahoone beautifully balances stimulation with relaxation.

Sub Pop’s releasing Deer Creek Canyon in several guises (CD — with or without T-shirt; black or colored vinyl) today.

MP3 : Sera Cahoone – Nake
MP3 : Sera Cahoone – Deerk Creek Canyon
MP3 : Sera Cahoone – Only As The Day Is Long

Post by Mary Leary

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