Kora Feder is a California born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter who has spent the last couple of years traveling the world for her Global Studies degree. She is the daughter of seasoned musician Rita Hosking and grew up playing many different instruments and started performing at the young age of fifteen. Her debut EP Marigolds was written while Feder was traveling abroad and is full of folk sounds and thoughtful lyrics.
The album started strong with “Phoenix” a storytelling song about a unique man met during her travels. Feder’s voice is striking. It is soft and feminine yet strong and haunting. Her vocals are perfectly supported by her intricate guitar melodies and full-bodied yet simplistic sound. Feder manages to fit a novel worth of lyrics into a four-minute song without it sounding crowded or pretentious.
In that way, her songs reminded me of Paul Simon which is impressive, to say the least. The second track “Ballad to Feel” was slower and had a certain sadness about it. At this point, I was beginning to notice all the little nuances in Feder’s voice. She sometimes has a little twang at the end of notes or she changes key mid-word. She uses her voice so artistically, it really is fun to listen to.
“Nowhere to Stay” again was full of stories and substance while remaining poetic and soft. Feder’s vocals were further showcased on this track and more of her impressive range was evident. The title track “Marigolds” was full of gentle yet poignant lyrics strung along complex melodies. The final track “Written in Change” had a folksy feel to it that made Feder’s signature powerful lyrics even more endearing.
Marigolds is the work of a talented songwriter and musician. Feder obviously has a deep understanding of music that allows her to weave her heavy lyrics in a way that makes them feel delicate and dainty. I enjoyed her take on the world and felt the passion she has for life in every note. I’d love to see her take some risks musically and branch out just a tad, so I definitely look forward to her evolution.
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