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Magical, mystical and delicate,
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This review is from: Gift For The End (Audio CD)
Mariee Sioux is from the same small City in California that is home to both Alela Diane and Joanna Newsom. Like those luminaries of female alt-folk there is an individuality to Mariee Sioux's work which makes it stand out in a genre that is not exactly short of representation in the current music scene.
Not as outrageously talented as Newsom and not as strong-voiced as Diane (with whom she has collaborated), Mariee Sioux sticks to what she knows and does it very well. Her fingerpicking has a beautiful, soft fragility, barely there at times and augmented here by subtle yet evocative instrumentation with flute particularly to the fore. Her voice does not have the range evident on Alela Diane's recent recordings but it is nonetheless a sweet, highly melodic and beautifully controlled instrument, soft yet with a strength that sticks with you after you have finished listening to the album.
Her main point of interest though is the way she seems to evoke the myths and legends of native american culture and folklore in her understated but memorable songwriting. As on her debut, 2007's "Faces in the Rocks" there is a strong sense of Sioux's ancestry at play here with songs like "Ghosts In My Heart" and "Swimming Through Stone" the most striking examples of this. These are songs that have a mystical, hypnotic fascination, gently pulling the listener in and rewarding revisits as more secrets seem to be revealed with each subsequent listen.
This album wont tear up any trees. It's not really designed to do that, but let it enfold you and whisper beautifully to you a couple of times and you'll be glad you took a chance on it.