Album Name: Christina Courtin
Artist: Christina Courtin
Year/Label: 2009 / Nonesuch
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Review by David Adair
The sound, vibe and general influence of the likes of Feist, Tori Amos, Katie-Jane Garside Cara Dillon, Regina Spektor, Nick Drake and the instrumental carefree and tingling touch of The Coral. These flavours are indiscriminately and, at times, delectably scattered around this ten track debut from the skipping and roving New York resident, Christina Courtin. Occasionally, the above sounds are blurred together to give off calmness, soul-searching and a hint of desperation shrouded around mid-tempo tingling melodies.
Bundah, gives an early pedestrian and searching vibe that unravels from a spindling string led instrumental, with Courtin’s low-key skipping vocals acting like a warm hug to a loved one. Before a modicum of intensity and urgency takes grip, as the bass element fattens out this foraging effort.
However, this is no Laura Marling impersonation and the tone and mood soon switches, with the hollow percussion pushed folk flirting skip of Foreign County. It is the delving lyrical snap and the Feist veined stammering delivery of it that starts to make your ears pick up like a pointer’s;
If I was a foreign country would you come and visit me??….
If I was woooo oohh if I was a foreign county would you vacation?
Courtin’s ability to drag out her pleading vocals across a stirring piano base, gives Mulberries a bluesy hue and shows up her aptitude at creating a slow and stirring tone. An ability to make universal feelings that are quite personal illuminates the album and gives it a general accessible edge.
Something that the forlorn yet hope espousing February, draws out and it increases in the slow turning, but focused mini-epic, Laconia that features a cathartic, slightly frenetic ending.
The lullaby lobbing One Man Down, extols an earthy friendliness as well as an openness that adds to the accessibility of this charming and sometimes demonstrative songwriter.
If it’s mild adventure, expressively ranging delivery and deft, often string led decoration (by the artist themselves) that you feel is the perfect accompaniment to a balmy summer’s evening? Then this thoughtful and occasionally flighty, Buffalo songstress certainly fits the bill.
1. Green Jay
3. Foreign Country
4. Hedonistic Paradise
8. One Man Down