Release Date: May 9, 2006
Record label: Anti / Epitaph
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Folk, Singer-Songwriter
Whether she's writing original material or covering traditional tunes -- on this set she does a gorgeous reading of "Adieu False Heart" -- the effect is the same. It's intimate, like a secret told readily. And to further embolden herself, she's recorded portions of the disc in front of a small audience, and cut most of the music live from the floor.
Bluesy singer-songwriters with crooked voices and a rocking-chair swing to their sound aren't exactly a rare breed, but even in this oversubscribed field, Jolie Holland's sometimes blowsy, sometimes ghostly songs stand out. Her third album suffers in places from an attack of earnestness: it makes Nothing to Do But Dream, a spooky tale of fratricide, drag and closing track Mexican Blue sag under the weight of its own poetics. But when she takes up with moonshiners and starts crooning in alleyways, the whole thing bursts into lascivious life.