Julie Sokolow is a heart-on-sleeve singer-songwriter whose confessional missives about the state of her emotional well-being are delivered in a spartan intimacy that is as beguiling as it is mildly upsetting. Recorded in her New York City apartment with only a cheap acoustic guitar, keyboard, and the built-in mic on her Mac G4 Powerbook, this lo-fi debut becomes a solitary experience for both musician and listener. It’s really not hard to imagine the walls closing in on Sokolow as her angelic, folksy rasp, so reminiscent of Scout Niblett, joyously sings “Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind” (“All the Wrong Reasons”) or nonchalantly chants the double-tracked mantra “Sometimes this room is the only universe / And it turns out and burns out in isolation” (“Alternations”). And even though she embellishes a number of her songs with multi-layered vocal arrangements, lush keys, and inventive percussive sounds, there is no escaping the desperate quest for answers buried deep within these unexpected delights.
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