Escondida

Escondida

4.2 4
by Jolie Holland
     
 

Escondida is the actual studio debut by Texas-born singer/songwriter Jolie Holland. While critics and music fans alike lauded Catalpa as her "first" album, it was never actually intended for release. Anti issued it after the volume of reviews reached fever pitch and Holland could no longer keep up with requests for it. As such, Escondida is a very…  See more details below

Overview

Escondida is the actual studio debut by Texas-born singer/songwriter Jolie Holland. While critics and music fans alike lauded Catalpa as her "first" album, it was never actually intended for release. Anti issued it after the volume of reviews reached fever pitch and Holland could no longer keep up with requests for it. As such, Escondida is a very different recording. Not as drenched in Gothic southern images and architectures, Escondida offers an even more evocative portrait of Holland as an American traditionalist who uses history as the framework for her new direction; she is not an Americana songwriter. One need go no further than "Sascha," the opener, for evidence. In beautiful early swing vernacular, complete with self-played Piedmont style guitaristry, Dave Mihaly's whispering snare brushes, and Ara Anderson's trumpet loping languidly in the background, Holland offers a love song as humid as a summer night full of stars and quiet front porches. It's startling because it is at once so classic and yet so wonderfully foreign. Her voice evoking Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith without imitating either, and her words coming from the heart of her own 21st century. Contrast this with "Black Stars," which follows it. Featuring only guitars and cymbals, it's closer in feel to the material on Catalpa, yet Holland's voice comes from the land of the ghosts; where the spirits of jazz singers and blues singers jointly crooned in the streets of Old New Orleans. Likewise, Ma Rainey might have sung the blues line in "Old Fashion Morphine" if she and Tampa Red had been accompanied by Sidney Bechet and Kid Ory in a late-night swing session. Gospel, folk, hints of early country music, and swing lie down together and kiss, languidly caressing one another in this blend of organic, sultry, sexy American blues. With her eclectic band -- which includes banjo boss Enzo Garcia on musical saw -- and lyrics that are both full of irony, pathos, and sly humor, Holland offers listeners a loosely constructed yet deeply moving tour through her mystical and esthetic archetypes -- the popping vocal and drum jive tune that is "Mad Tom of Bedlam"; the deep, bottom-land acoustic blues of "Poor Girl," that touches Blind Willie McTell, the Mississippi Sheiks, and Rosetta Tharpe; the Civil War melody that lies at the heart of "Faded Coat of Blue" -- and rewards them with a listening experience that is singular, startling, and soulful.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Peter Relic
1/2 Holland's voice is as pure and direct as a hit of sunshine... You can't help but be drawn to Escondida.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/27/2004
Label:
Anti
UPC:
0045778669226
catalogNumber:
86692
Rank:
119290

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jolie Holland   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Ukulele,Vocals
Dave Mihaly   Drums,Marimbas,Background Vocals
Paul Scriver   Soprano Saxophone
Enzo Garcia   Saw
Ara Anderson   Trumpet
Keith Cary   Banjo,Mandolin,Upright Bass

Technical Credits

Gavin Lurssen   Mastering
Traditional   Composer
Jolie Holland   Composer,Producer,Graphic Design
Lemon De George   Producer,Engineer
Sandrine Albouy   Graphic Design
Seth Augustus Quittner   Graphic Design
John Paul McLean   Engineer

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Customer Reviews

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Escondida 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jolie Holland's music originates from the deep, dark American past. Her haunting melodies and chilling vocals bypass your mind and pierce right through to your soul. Her style is traditional, but there is no sense of novelty or inauthenticity in her music. The essence of Holland's distinction is that she is able to combine the traditions of American roots music with her own unique voice and vision. Every note comes off naturally and every word is sung with the conviction of truth. Like all great artists, she has a sense of what she wants to say and is able to say it with unfettered emotion in a voice that could only be her own. Her music feels as old and sacred as the greatest traditional American music while brimming with newness and originality. Stark and startling, Jolie Holland’s music is a haunted dream of the past and a beautiful vision of the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago