The Living and the Dead

Jolie Holland’s voice is so sultry, lonesome, and haunting, one might assume that she’s the secret love (grand)child of Billie Holiday and Woody Guthrie.

Jolie Holland’s voice is so sultry, lonesome, and haunting, one might assume that she’s the secret love (grand)child of Billie Holiday and Woody Guthrie. Finding a strange balance between jazz, blues, and old-time Americana, Holland’s music brings to mind images of strawberry wine and late nights on the front porch. But on her third studio album, Holland takes a slightly heavier approach. Teaming up with bona fide rockers M. Ward (She & Him) and guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) who produced several tracks, The Living and the Dead is a bit of a departure for the songstress. At times it feels slightly overdone, and I found myself aching for her simpler singer/songwriter blues, but even so, Holland’s voice is what stands out. Whether backed by a full 10-piece band or the crickets outside her window, her sad but intriguing warble is what you’ll find impossible to forget.

 
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