Mindy Smith

Long Island native Mindy Smith has done time as a cog in the Nashville machine, but her debut, One Moment More, doesn't sound much like country music, despite its liberal use of back-porch acoustic guitar and weepy-eyed lap steel. Instead, Smith's a member of the widening field of singer/songwriters who've taken advantage of Norah Jones' commercial success by folding a variety of personal idiosyncrasies into an accessible and boomer-friendly framework of Authentic Roots Music. On Moment Smith's personal quirks include a clear, one-of-a-kind voice (well, maybe two-of-a-kind: Smith sounds uncannily like a younger version of the great Patty Griffin) and a devotion to Christ; her framework is the strummy, tuneful folk-pop coffeehouses invented to sell prohibitively priced lattes. I realize I've just described the musical equivalent of kids' chewable vitamins, but in the gently chiming "Falling," the gently propulsive "Fighting for It All" and the gently shuffling "It's Amazing," Smith wraps the grain in her voice around heart-tugging melodies that establish a warm and well-lit space inside your mind where hugs come for free.
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Mikael Wood