In an interview, Josephine Foster said that someone once told her she sang like a theremin, and that’s not a bad description. Her vibrato comes from operatic voice training, and her sensibility comes from somewhere else, from the Land of Awkward Musicians, the Joanna Newsoms, the Zach Condons, the quavery, the unsettling. Heather Trost from A Hawk and a Hacksaw helps out on violin. Ben Trimble on the “New Mexico skin drums” makes a subterranean bom-bom, and this deep heartbeat, coupled with lyrics about blood and an Old-Timey Christian earnest creak, gives the album a multi-levelled coherence, an imprimatur of seriousness over which she flutters.
This blood, this God, this throb, it should mean something. No answers as to what. She is not any of these things, not a Pueblo Indian, not Old, possibly not Christian, and she is an opera singer who is not singing opera: she has settled herself in the gaps between these things, and made an evasive album, one it would be easy to obsess over once you found yourself locked onto its wavelength.
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// Notes from the Road
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