Andrea Davidson’s album is called Inspirit. Just in case you didn't think inspirit wasn't actually a word, its definition is to infuse new life or spirit into; to animate; to encourage; to invigorate. I'm not saying that I would play this six-song collection during my attempt to resurrect the dead, but if Davidson's voice doesn't make me a believer in contemporary female folk acts I don’t know what will.
Her voice is awesome, taunting and confident, empathetic and soulful. She changes her timbre in the same breath, so quickly that it doesn't register until she's already on a new line. She demonstrates this on her opener "Hungry," from her album Inspirit when she teases, "you want peace and love and truth/probably be 100 with that youth." Even if the lyrical content deals with personal wounds–the deceptively cheerful "I'll Love You" is taut with sadness that threatens to burst from the dusty guitar playing, especially when subtle samples of rain are heard – Davidson herself never sounds damaged, but always confident. Even at her most fragile in the rickety "California Rain" you can hear a grit with roots in Davidson's native Kentucky.
Davidson's vocal efforts are backed up by both her talent on the guitar and a collection of talented musicians. Most notably violinist Elmore Denig provides delicate touches that counter Davidson's brass vocals. Percussionist Jason Collum adroitly sets the mood of the songs he's a part of, knowing when to give enough oomph to a composition without the having the song get annoying. It’s a pretty damn fantastic EP. At worst Davidson can sound too Starbucksy, but what does that even mean? This is a finely orchestrated collection of songs fronted by a large-lunged vocalist with a lot to say.
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