Say Goodbye, by Liz Janes

Liz Janes calls her new album a soul album, but don't take this at face value. Her résumé—as a solo artist and in support of Sufjan Stevens and others—leans toward avant-folk. So it's no surprise that this isn't a straightforward salute to Mem­phis. Still, soul is as good a word as any for this quiet, strange but above all groovy little record.

A lot of the pleasure comes from Janes's rhythmically intense singing. She begins the blues-tinged ballad "Anchor" accompanied only by an acoustic guitar bass line, her voice carrying the piece for a whole minute before the band comes in. Similarly, on "Trees"—the album's high-energy point—she starts with just the vocal over long electric piano chords.

 

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