Although it was initially intended as a national release, then 22-year-old Sarah Siskind's 2003 debut album, Covered, produced by Tucker Martine and featuring contributions from guitarist Bill Frisell and the Story's Jennifer Kimball, was eventually released independently that same year when Siskind became suddenly ill and was unable to tour widely and support the album. Several surgeries later, Siskind got her career back on track, but Covered, although it was a strikingly unique album, has never quite gotten the attention it should have. Sparse, unhurried, and atmospheric, helped immeasurably by Frisell's exact and appropriate guitar playing and centered around Siskind's subtle, literate, and often haunting songs, the album doesn't seem to belong to any era, which gives it a kind of patient power now ten years later. Much has been made of Siskind's bluegrass and Appalachian roots, but there's little of that here, and she sounds at times like a less deliberately poetic Joni Mitchell crossed with a quieter, more subdued, more ethereal Laura Nyro, and the songs move on their own bits of inner logic, delicate and slightly mysterious, but then clear as a bell, too. The best of the songs, like "Such an Obvious Love," "Soldier," and "Knowing Only What I Know," are quiet gems, as is the version here of the traditional "Do You Love an Apple?," which slips easily into Siskind's beautifully realized and also beautifully fractured style, a style that manages to sound somehow both delicate and sturdy at once. Covered ten years on is still an impressive and coherent debut, with songs that fit together like patches in a patchwork quilt, each gathering strength from the others.