Every few years it seems as though an indie folk singer comes out that creates something beyond strange lamentations and disturbing psychosis through acoustic guitars and eerie piano solos. Yes, every few years there is an artist that distributes the idea to our heads that it is okay to keep it simple, with only minor complexities to cloud our minds, and still be able to make sweet and beautiful pop oriented folk music. Similar to Norah Jones stealing the show almost 10 years ago, Kacey Johansing has arrived with her debut solo album Many Seasons to be the heiress of said crown with her own special portrayal of the Bay Area’s everlasting love for the slow paced society San Francisco had once tried to create.
Johansing, like many folk princesses today, has a common thread of antiquity that is constantly spinning through the long blond hair of America. “Oh Brother” is reminiscent of Nina Simone, if Nina had been performing at a high school prom somewhere in a cornfield in Nebraska. Kacey’s voice fills the precious air like a preacher’s word can strike fear into the heart of a Catholic widow. But, “The Spider Song” is where the dark clouds of Many Seasons begin to rain tremendously upon the listener. With disturbing lyrics and a beautiful jazz appeal, this song alone proves that this lady has a range of emotion wider than most of her peers.
Over on the east coast, they have a little artist named Larkin Grimm. She is dark and ominous. The Pacific Northwest can boast about local Anna-Lynne Williams. She is soft and a brilliant expressionist. And so on for every region across this land. And in Northern California, an epitaph for rock and roll history, the new reign must be presented to Kacey Johansing after this release. This is an artist too talented to not be placed amongst the finest leaves of the tallest tree that the world of indie folk has been watching grow over the last few years. Johansing is the happy sadist for the new generation.
Download: “Oh, Brother” by Kacey Johansing
Porto Franco Records [CD, 2010]
1. Good Mourning
2. Many Seasons
3. Angel Island
4. Leave Your Sweater
5. Oh, Brother
6. Photographs And Letters
7. Same Old, Same Old
8. Spider Song
9. Soon (We Will Be Telling Our Children)
11. Poison Oak Hymnal