Sound Check: August 2009


Canadian queer duo Madison Violet (also known as Mad Violet)’s No Fool for Trying will be loved by country fans looking for something new. Fans of Allison Krauss or Sugarland will love the women’s harmonies and lyrics that liken relationships to small towns that aren’t big enough for two people.

They sing “don’t go telling lies to me, Lauralee” on the second track, “Lauralee,” which is reminiscent of country from divas like Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire as opposed to newer country stars that angle toward pop.

The sexiest song on the album, by far, is “Best Part of Your Love.” Right after singing about her dress “slipping down and [falling] right to the floor,” it’s back to the country themes of crying over spilled drinks and a lover’s affair with the bottle.

From throwback sounds to futuristic slam poetry music, Good Asian Drivers (Kit Yan and Melissa Li) make political folk-pop that seamlessly flow while celebrating women on their debut, Drive Away Home. And even though the words are a large part of the focus, the instrumental and vocals are just as strong on the album, with an intense soulfulness that I was impressed with straight-off.

Drive Away Home is very, very gay. If you are into songs about gender, feminism and sexuality, you will love what Good Asian Drivers have for you. Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of spoken word, you’ll probably find it pleasing with the music from Li.

Catie Curtis tries her hand at covers of artists like Nina Simone and Cat Stevens on Hello, Stranger. Like her previous cover of Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Soul Meets Body,” the lesbian country-folk singer is able to take a song and rearrange it to become her own while maintaining the original’s aesthetic.

Fans of both Catie and Mary Gauthier will love their original duet, “Hello, Stranger,” making it also a perfect name for the album.

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