Christine Fellows – Nevertheless

Christine Fellows‘ subtle voice lends itself to the kind of song you perk your ears up to at the café while you’re sipping your too-expensive drink and working on that dissertation about the magical realism of children’s books of the nineties. So, take that statement as you’d like. I personally really enjoyed her latest effort, Nevertheless, and I’m glad to have it in my collection. She has the Mountain Goats‘ seal of approval – she’s toured with them and lead singer John Darnielle has said that she “is writing better songs than anybody else.” So she seems pretty set as is.

It’s refreshing to hear an artist who hasn’t left her love of more traditional sound behind. The songs are, for the most part, melancholy but never hollowly depressing. The first track, “Let Us Have Done With The Umbrella Of Our Contagion,” has way too long and pretentious a title for me, but it’s pure instrumentals and it’s a fantastic introduction to the album. Many of the songs that follow it have similar sounding instrumentals but have vocals to break them up. The music is kind of Tim Burton-y and even a little Tori Amos-y, if I’m hearing it correctly, which isn’t to say that those are two things I hold in the utmost highest regard, nor would an indie musician, but Fellows makes it work for her.

Nevertheless is a really nice album to listen to. A lot of the songs remind me why I got so into music in the first place, at least as into it as someone who can’t sing or play can. “Poor Robin” is campy and complex in the greatest ways possible. “Cruel Jim,” is unforgiving but pretty damn beautiful and I have to appreciate that. The title song and last track of the album is such a complete gem that it’s blinding. “They’re just letting in a little light / They’re just letting in a little air / I don’t care” are some of the best lyrics I feel like I’ve heard in awhile.

So she might not be as quirky-cute as Regina Spektor or as innocent Hollywood as Jenny Lewis, but she is an equal talent and sings with just as much vigor and honesty as those two or any other artist. There was not one moment when these intricately woven and cleverly executed songs let me down or lost any of their depth. And while I haven’t seen her live, these songs are begging to be played to an audience of music-hungry fans and that is something that I really truly appreciate. Definitely pick up Nevertheless, available now, and have some fun with it; it’s really easy to get into, I promise.

Christine Fellows: website | myspace

by: Jimmy

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