on 25 August 2007
I saw Anais Mitchell play just two songs at The Ram in Claygate - no amplification - just her crystal clear voice and simple guitar in a smallish room. This album is a faithful distillation of the truly mesmerising performance she gave - the album is compelling from begining to end. Listen to Old Fashioned Hat if you want to hear her at her best. Complex, bright, ironic and funny. A female Rufus Wainwright without the big band or the camp.
on 28 July 2008
On this sparely recorded folk album Vermont native Mitchell sings in a voice reminiscent of Mary Margaret O'Hara or Victoria Williams, but her songs, while literate and pretty, lack the power and presence to compel the listener to pay attention.
To my ears there also seems to be a technical problem with the recording of her voice, which has a harsh edge on most of the album, except for 'of a friday night' recorded by a different engineer in a different studio, where a much warmer sound is achieved.
That said, there's enough here to suggest that Mitchell may yet grow as a songwriter and performer.