Sarah Fimm: Given Never Offered (Album Review)

Poet-painter-composer-singer-multi-instrumentalist wonder Sarah Fimm is the unique artist who manages to make every album in her prolific oeuvre innovative and exciting without ever losing the core of who she is as an artist. Her signature sound weaves a dark, gothic undercurrent with sultry, trippy beats (she’s toured with Bauhaus and Delerium), crashing piano, and her purring, ferocious voice, but there’s always something new to discover with each release. Her new album, Given Never Offered, is no exception to that artistic excellence.

The opener, “Teacher,” is the Sarah Fimm sound we know and love, but then the Lynchian instrumental “Bridges and Tunnels” slinks in with jazz horns and murky, rumbling piano–resurrected on the later instrumentals “Streetlights” and “Mannahatta.”

The album’s title track is also its centerpiece. “Given Never Offered” is a haunting ballad that puts the spotlight directly on Sarah’s beautiful voice.

The simmering piano of “Black Ash Clouds” recalls both Sarah’s early albums and those of Tori Amos. The song shares a kinship with Tori’s “Icicle” and “Yes, Anastasia.” So of course I love it.

“Folding Petal” is another exquisite ballad. There aren’t many artists that elicit full reviews from me anymore, let alone make me stop everything else I’m doing to listen intently. Sarah is one of the select few, and “Folding Petal” demanded my full attention.

“Wild Dreams” unleashes the lovely soprano side of Sarah’s gorgeous, multi-faceted voice.

Lest we think she’s gone soft, the finale “Power Over Me” pushes Sarah back into the menacing electro-rock house she built with her industrious, genius hands.

Sarah Fimm Official Site

Buy @ Bandcamp

Buy @ Amazon

Amanda Palmer Covers The Cranberries

In the wake of Dolores O’Riordan’s passing, Amanda Palmer and Jherek Bischoff have released their string quartet covers of The Cranberries’ “No Need to Argue” and “Zombie.” Her “Zombie” cover is especially powerful. Stream and buy the songs at Bandcamp. All proceeds benefit the charity Chernobyl Children International.

Amanda Palmer: New Song “Small Hands, Small Heart”

Amanda Palmer once again called on her Patreon fans for songwriting inspiration, or, rather, participation. You can read about the project here. The page also shows pics of how Amanda transformed random words, phrases, and ideas she culled from her fans’ very diverse range of comments into a fully formed and recorded song in just three days. This one’s a bit more Dresden/Grand Theft Amanda, quiet yet peppy, calm but fierce.

You can download Amanda Palmer’s new song, “Small Hands, Small Heart,” at Bandcamp for $1 (or more if you wish).

100% of the song’s proceeds benefit Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria.

Amanda Palmer: New Song “Drowning in the Sound”

Amanda Palmer asked her Patreon community of fans for song inspirations, then wrote and recorded the resulting song in 2 days. The epic “Drowning in the Sound” moves from the eclipse to Hurricane Harvey. Amanda named Ani Difranco, Tori Amos, and Kate Bush as influences, but it’s also a continuation of her own evolving, mature sound–you can almost hear the path from The Dresden Dolls to “Machete.” You can read more of the song’s backstory and the lyrics here.

Amanda Palmer – Drowning In The Sound, by Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer – Drowning In The Sound by Amanda Palmer, released 31 August 2017

Download @ Bandcamp

Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel: I Can Spin a Rainbow (Album Review & Stream)

I’m so happy to hear my beloved Dresden Doll get all creepy and goth again! If, like me, you adore The Dresden Doll’s “Perfect Fit,” Amanda’s string-infused Bowie tribute, the Stranger Things theme, The Legendary Pink Dots (duh, it is Edward Ka-Spel after all), and Bauhaus, this is the album for you. If you don’t like them, well, I question your music taste and you should probably move on.

The standout track is “The Jack of Hands.” Other favorites are “Beyond the Beach,” “The Shock of Kontakt,” and “The Changing Room.”

The entire I Can Spin a Rainbow album is a delightfully eerie, spreading shadow.