April Smith’s music is a wonderful combination of old and new. Backed by instruments like accordion and upright bass, you’d think that she was right out of the 1930 or 1940s, yet her attitude is distinctly modern. She oscillates back and forth between between sultry femme fatale and mischievous pixie, sometimes mid song. Her voice is a powerhouse – I saw her perform at DC9 on U St a few days ago, and was amazed at just how good she sounded up close, live, and in person. (Aside: she’s also totally crushworthy)
Her album Songs for a Sinking Ship is a great listen. I tend to prefer the upbeat dance tracks like “Terrible Things”, “Colors”, and “The One That Got Away” to the mushier songs like “Beloved.” “Movie Loves a Screen” is on the short list for my “Now That’s What Dwain Calls Music: 2010 edition”, and “Stop Wondering” has one of my favorite sets of lyrics so far this summer:
“So if you ever wonder if I’m dreaming of you
in the night at my window by the light of the moon?
If you ever wonder if if I’m dreaming of you,
Bitch please…I’ve got better things to do.”
Like a lot of good indie artists, expect to hear this music in a car commercial and episode of Grey’s Anatomy sometime soon – “Terrible Things” has already been featured in promos for Showtime’s “Weeds” and she mentioned in her set the other night that another song is going to be featured in an NFL commercial soon.
Where I found them: NPR All Songs Considered Podcast (7/26/10 episode)
You’ll probably like if you like: Nellie McKay’s “It’s a Pose”, Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am”
Get your own serving of April Smith: