March 22, 2007
The Pirate’s GospelMore on Alela Diane
7 / 10 Raise a glass of rum to Oregon’s Alela Diane. Because this, ‘The Pirate’s Gospel’, is a campfire folk gem perfect for the summer festivals. Reinvigorating the tired ‘kooky female singer-songwriter’ mould, this is an album with heart, soul and, above all, originality. The title track is a thigh-slapping, banjo shanty with a “yo ho” chorus and gutsy vocals that sound like a nautical Cat Power. ‘Clickity Clack’ has a delicate guitar-driven melody – imagine Joanna Newsom if she’d grown up in the particularly rough part of the Elfin Forest – and ‘Pigeon Song’ has more quivering fragility and mournful passion than the whole of Conor ‘Bright Eyes’ Oberst’s back catalogue. Listen to it, love it. That’s an order, you scurvy dogs.
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