It is on the rarest occasions that I ever hear something on the radio that elicits a instant purchase the next available moment that I am near a computer. Even rarer than this would be the chances of me listening to NPR for more than two minutes. The pick of the week had me doing both of these actions within minutes of each other. Ladies and gentlemen, I present this week's pick, Loom by Bone & Bell
While getting dressed last Wednesday morning, I decided to flip through radio stations when I heard a song titled "O' the Death of the Caspian Sea" featuring nothing more than a delicate, fingerpicked baritone ukulele and sweet female vocal. I listened and discovered that it was a live performance/interview with a local artist, and I do mean artist, named Heather Smith who creates music under the name Bone & Bell. Instantly, I went to my computer which brings us to where we are now.
Loom is the name of her debut EP and is comprised of five incredible songs, all sung and performed by Smith, herself, on a baritone ukulele with various harmonic and orchestrated arrangements sprinkled throughout the recording. The songs have a dream-like quality to the instrumentation with Smith's vocals tying to together the delicacy and beauty of her performance. Musically, the EP brings to mind the work of Cheyenne Marie Mize's debut, Before Lately, and the more softer numbers of Jenny Owen Youngs and Regina Spektor.
Best of all, Smith has released the EP as a free download on her site and her Bandcamp site if you wish to check it out. If you like what you hear, a physical CD copy can be purchased for three dollars at her site. I recommend this for the following reasons:
a) she is a very talented, independent artist.
b) it is a really amazing EP.
c) the cover artwork, created and drawn by Smith, is excellent.
d) it is three dollars.
e) it prominently features a baritone ukulele.
f) all of the above.
Anyway, enough reading about this EP, check it out for yourself as I highly recommend it. Also, Smith is a very talented graphic designer and painter which you can see at her site, Clockworkbird. Loom by Bone & Bell is the pick of the week and seriously, stop reading this and check it out instead.