Allison Crowe: Sylvan Hour (Album Review & Mp3)

Recorded live in a log-cabin in the Canadian wilderness during a cross-country journey, Allison Crowe’s new album, Sylvan Hour, may be her best yet. The private, one-hour performance at a friend’s home in 2006 includes raw, solo takes of songs that would be re-recorded in group sessions for This Little Bird.┬áThe recording was lost for nearly a decade and was rediscovered this winter. What a find it was! Allison’s extraordinary voice is in its purest state accompanied only by guitar and piano.



From the opening cover of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Darling, Be Home Soon” to originals like “Effortless” and the fierce rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” Allison’s vocal prowess and control is on astonishing display.

Among the album’s many standout tracks are “Phoenix,” “These Words” and “Skeletons & Spirits.” These “stripped down” versions are even more powerful and clear than their This Little Bird counterparts.

Allison’s supernaturally agile and exquisite voice is especially stunning, even shocking, as she bends and stretches every note in the haunting, truly chill-producing ballad “Silence.” You can stream and download a free, legal mp3 of the song via the Soundcloud widget below.

The music seems to rise from deep with her chest, sometimes ripping out of her throat in full roar, other times being restrained and shaped with the skill of a master sculptor. Sylvan Hour is truly a masterpiece.



Buy @ Amazon

Introducing Willemijn Verkaik…

By: Brn

Are you sick of “Let it Go” covers yet? Because Dutch singer Willemijn Verkaik’s might be the best one I’ve heard. Her version of “Defying Gravity” is also great.



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Natalie Weiss

By: Brn

The only artist to appear twice on my top 50, Weiss is the most prominent voice in this “Gravity/Run to You” mashup.

And here’s her wonderful acoustic mashup of “Titanium” and “Clarity” as well as her version of “Skyscraper.”

I love her song choices – the debut Natalie Weiss EP includes “Only Hope.”

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Firewoodisland’s Fantastic Folk-Pop Cover of Sia’s “Chandelier”


Falling Slowly Cover

By: Brn

Skip forward to 8:10 in this BBC video to hear a gorgeous version of “Falling Slowly” by the band Blake with Rachelle Ann Go.