By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
OK Sweetheart's Erin Austin possesses one of those amazing voices, the kind that oozes both desperation and sweetness. Austin can convey plenty of emotion with the slightest whisper, a talent she uses throughout Home, OK Sweetheart's remarkable debut, an album awash in fine playing and gorgeous singing.
Yet unlike the dreamy pop of Mazzy Star and the Cowboy Junkies (two obvious influences—and not just because all three acts have female vocalists), The New York-by-way-of-Tulsa-by-way-of-Denton four-piece utilizes Austin's vocals in a variety of contexts. Whether it's up-tempo, '60s-inspired pop ("You Let Me Down," "Grudge") or the more subdued, jazzy cuts ("Can't Stop This," "All We Have"), Austin is provided with just the right amount of supportive backing here.
Of course, any kind of support may be relative, seeing that Austin could just about sing the menu at Taco Bell and make it sound good. But there is definitely more to OK Sweetheart than a pretty voice. With help from some members of Midlake and The Polyphonic Spree, band co-founder Rob Gungor helps make Home a complete collection of atmospheric, jazzy pop that never wavers in its quiet intensity.
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