So I'm having breakfast at the Gold Rush Café when, totally unsolicited, a fellow diner approaches my table with a copy of Jolie Holland's Escondida. "You have to hear this album," he says. "This woman has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard." He wasn't kidding. Holland, a former member of the Northern California trio Be Good Tanyas, has a sublime gift for glorious and delicately nuanced phrasing. Her lyrics are warm, thought-provoking, inspirational, open to interpretation. Gold Rush Guy prejudiced my opinion with comparisons to Billie and Rickie Lee, and that's a valid reference point. Still, this record hints at a wealth of possibility; I have a sneaking suspicion that Holland will put together an amazing body of work over the next few years. If her upcoming show at AllGood Café is as captivating as her performance on Escondida, we may be in for a spiritual experience.
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