Compelling voices

by Paul Burmeister

Acid Tongue (2008), by Jenny Lewis, is a CD that I have loaned to people and continue to recommend to others. I am not familiar with Rilo Kiley, Lewis' first band, and I prefer Acid Tongue to Rabbit Fur Coat, Lewis' solo debut. Lewis has an interesting and fresh voice; there's something compelling about it that sets her apart. And Acid Tongue has a good variety of solid concepts. In my opinion, the CD's anthemic "The Next Messiah" is among the best songs in this idiom that I've heard in some time.

Another compelling voice, and not as well known, is Eilen Jewell's. Jewell is three years younger than Lewis, but her voice is a little harder. I highly recommend Letters from Sinners and Strangers (2007.)

Both artists were introduced to me by strangers while I was poking around in stores. Both artists have interesting voices, gritty songwriting talents and honest production values. I hope that I can see both of them live in the future.