Springtime Can Kill You
The whole genre of so-called 'freak folk' has yielded some odd takes on traditional folk and jazz music, with Devendra Banhart and Antony and the Johnsons the best known (and possibly the most determinedly mannered).
This is Jolie Holland's third album, and easily her best. It upgrades the whole country-folk-blues-jazz sound that she began on Escondida in 2004, where her debt to artists like Billie Holiday was clear. Springtime explores the same kind of territory that Norah Jones or Madeleine Peyroux do, but with enough delicious edge to keep this from becoming cloying or middle of the road.
The collection of ballads is exactly what Jenny Lewis was aiming at with the Watson Twins, but rarely hit. This is a lovely, laid back, vintage sounding disc, that it makes you want to lie back on a hammock and dream away.