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Rebecca Pearcy

Although I admittingly knew nothing about Rebecca Pearcy before hearing Constellation, I have a feeling that I'll be hearing a lot about her in the near future. While she's already built a sizeable following in her local area and beyond with her great vocals and finely-crafted songs, there's no doubt that once a few more people hear her music, she's going to catch on like wildfire. Just her second full-length release, this is an 11 song effort that swings wide and hits most of the time.

Sounding like a cross between Aimee Mann, Jenny Toomey (Tsunami), and Lucinda Williams, it's a release that dips into folk, orchestral pop, and stripped indie for a release that caters to a variety of styles without stretching any of them or feeling like it's simply pandering. Opening with the album titled track "Constellation," one can get a good idea of what things are about. Moving along with only an acoustic guitar and the warm vocals of Pearcy, a shimmering keyboard note rings out on ocassion, adding just the right amount of atmosphere to the minimal track (which fits nicely with the title and lyrics about wayward souls).

Following right on the heels of that track is another standout on the album, as "Natural Disaster" jangles along with a pounding saloon melody and off-kilter drums. Vocally Pearcy is as strong as any track, and fans of the aforementioned Mann will find both similarities (in a good way) in both the vocals and music of the track. The album slows down for awhile after that upbeat number, and pedal steel makes an entry on several tracks, filling out the sound even more. "Messy" works a particularly sensuous groove, shuffling along with piano and organs over sly percussion while Pearcy slowly lifts her vocals for dramatic chorus swells.

On the rest of the album, there are simple singer/songwriter type tracks (the quick and sharp "Hoof And Heel"), country-tinged laments ("Halloween"), and slow-core torch burners ("Seems A Shame"). The album ends with the string-soaked "Hook Line And Sinker," and it closes out the album in fine fashion, building into a showcase for the rich vocals of Pearcy. Although the music itself is quite good, and ranges from nicely spare to fairly lush, it's her voice that holds the whole thing together, and if you're a fan of any of the above mentioned artists (or even Cat Power or Allison Krauss or female singers in general), you'd do well to hunt down Constellation.

Rating: 7.5