August 29, 2013

CD Review: Life after Gypsy Tailwind rings true for Anna Lombard

'Head Full of Bells' showcases her delightfully soft, yet powerful voice.

By KRISTIN DiCARA McCLELLAN

In this solo debut, "Head Full of Bells," Anna Lombard has released herself from the shackles of being only associated with Gypsy Tailwind, the Americana act that she co-founded and fronted.

click image to enlarge

Related headlines

HOW IT RATES

ANNA LOMBARD: "HEAD FULL OF BELLS"

Produced by Adam Agati

*** 1/2

Based on a four-star scale

She has struggled to find her own voice within this community that fell in love with her delightfully soft, yet powerful voice mixed with catchy folky music that caught the Portland music scene off guard and on fire for a couple of years.

They were like a comet, suddenly lighting the sky with exuberance, then disappearing almost as quickly as they showed up (at least with Lombard in the lineup). This left people with a longing to catch a glimpse again of what they had previously witnessed, but too quickly Lombard had to jump off and switch gears, confusing the public about who she was.

As the Earth keeps turning and each year autumn comes back around with a different but never less than spectacular display of Mother Nature's beauty, so has Lombard come back around.

Friends and fellow musicians Adam Agati and Nicholas Falk have etched in stone a permanent spot for Lombard's gorgeous and enigmatic voice.

While listening to the eight-song CD, I became quite aware that, in particular, Agati and Lombard have used their talents the best to their advantage.

Lombard stepped back to let Agati write the music and play guitar, while she took over the reins with her beautiful voice and musicianship. This way of doing things works because there is line drawn for those roles and leaves no mystification.

The songs are all very congruent with each other, laid-back soulful pop mixes with coolly placed acoustic guitar, drum beats and subtle bass. This leaves the space for Lombard's voice, the strongest but most velvety textured layer of the compositions.

Because each song is artfully produced with precise vision, they roll into one another effortlessly. Any one of them can be heard on the radio and you would know it was part of one collaboration.

One of my favorites is "Life Takes," as I felt a slight shift in direction, and Lombard took some chances with her voice a bit more than in most of the rest of the CD, other than the strong finisher "All for You." The way she sings the verses here almost reminds me of Alanis Morrisette slowed down and refined, but with sweet nuances, character and a broad range.

"Head Full of Bells" is available now from iTunes, Bandcamp and Bull Moose. Check out Lombard live this fall as she plays around the area in support of this lovely CD.

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a Portland freelance writer.

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


Blogs

More PPH Blogs

 
Get the GO RSS!