Listen to her best record yet before summer returns
A pretentious title, perhaps, but when you've got a voice like this you
can get away with it. Sykes is often seen with a cigarette in hand; hearing her latest, one worries she's done away with filters. For three
records now her instrument has grown deeper, richer and spookier,
alternately evoking Cat Power, Grace Slick and Karen Dalton. Backing her is The Sweet Hereafter-led by ex-Whiskeytown guitarist Phil Wandscher-who keeps it simple, occasionally augmenting with strings and
horns. The songs are simultaneously catchier and darker than on her
earlier records, the incessant repetition on "Air is Thin" and "How Will We Know?" evoking a world of anxiety and compulsion. This album is made for cold, rainy evenings.