Jessy Greene: Blue Sky

On this track, her vocals hang in the air like cigarette smoke, enticing you in for a closer look as the music takes you to the back room of a dark and dingy club

Most people outside of Minneapolis have probably never heard of Jessy Greene even though she has toured and recorded with the likes of Wilco, the Jayhawks, the Geraldine Fibbers, the Afghan Whigs, and Golden Smog, just to name a few. Classically trained in violin with a degree in ethnomusicology from UCLA, Greene has set out to create was she calls “Ameritronica.” She describes it as beats created on an MPC 2000 infused with melancholy vocals and dark string arrangements.

Blue Sky is a CD that lyrically is in the vein of a singer-songwriter; instead of using conventional musical backdrops, though, Greene has created a landscape of drum loops, ambient and haunting vocals mixed with melodic strings to round out her sound. Most of the songs have a very positive and forward-looking feel to them, though it’s the darker and sensual-sounding “Sad Paradise” which stands out on the CD. On this track, her vocals hang in the air like cigarette smoke, enticing you in for a closer look as the music takes you to the back room of a dark and dingy club and she sings: “I’m not lonely/I can hold myself tight/A kiss before dying/would be sweet delight.”

This is a good first CD for Jessy Greene and her adventure into what she defines as Ameritronica. It would be nice to see some more of the darker and sensual songs that highlight her voice and violin. At times, it would be nice to hear more from the organic side of her music, mainly her violin and less of the electronic elements that overwhelm many of the songs. If you need a little ray of hope in this bleak world, put on Blue Sky, and watch the sun come up while drinking a nice warm cup of coffee, and let yourself float away.

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