Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kitty Clementine pulls out all the stops (and horns)

Kitty Clementine - Self-Titled
Clumpty Records
-out now
4 / 5

Who'd've thunk an Aussie from Sydney would bring gypsy charm and Big Easy stomp to, we don't know, rock? Big band? We're not too sure, but in either case, she's got big brass - horns - on her debut here, and how we appreciate horns. The dozen tracks here get dirty, in a foot-stomping, down-but-not-out blast-you-off-your-[butt] kinda way. It is pure pleasure being inundated with the personality, frustration and joy of this self-described "magician's daughter." Whether it's a straight-rocker like "We Should Know Better" or "It's Been Real," born from some muddy back alley in New Orleans, Clementine reels us in, hook line and sinker: she's got voice, color, and a great ear (and pen, too). And that spoken last track, "Who Be Brave," clinches it for us; how often does a musician's prose come off engaging and personal?  In short, she's got it here and in spades. Add to this the fact that you probably don't own an album this dense with character, and "Kitty Clementine" suddenly becomes an album you should check out. Totally under the radar, even for us, and certainly recommended.

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