Peripatetic (Austin, New Orleans, Vancouver, San Francisco) co-founder of the Be Good Tanyas, Jolie Holland’s literally timeless second album Escondida just came out on Epitaph’s roots music subsidiary Anti.
Holland, an unholy but appealing blend of Norah Jones and the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Katharine Whalen, similarly combines the sound and feel of ’20s jazz tunes, the luxuriant calm of Jones, and a post-modern twist to her phrasing on her own songs such as “Old Fashioned Morphine” (“it was good enough for Grandpa/it’s good enough for me”), the lovely suspiration “Sascha,” churchy “Amen,” classic country blues “Poor Girl Blues,” oddly enunciated (as if by Luanne on King of the Hill) country ditty “Good Bye California,” and wan island lament “Darlin Ukelele.”
Holland, who accompanies herself on acoustic guitar and piano, is also backed by veteran jazz drummer Dave Mihaly, guitarist Brian Miller, Keith Cary on upright bass, and joined on occasion by Ara Anderson on trumpet, Enzo Garcia on musical saw, and Paul Scriver on soprano sax.
Eerie and soothing at the same time, Escondida is a fascinating find. Check out video and MP3s from the album here.