Thao Nguyen, ‘We Brave Bee Stings and All’ (Kill Rock Stars)
Sweet but not sappy, Nguyen’s inviting folk pop has some of Jolie Holland’s woozy swagger, a pinch of Beth Orton’s genteel grace, and endless reserves of energy. Though ringing guitars and eager singing imply she’s a bubbly amateur, her deceptively sophisticated songs offer intriguing sketches of troubled lives. “I have seen fear and convenience / I have never glimpsed romance,” Nguyen chirps amid perky handclaps; elsewhere, she exclaims brightly, “You’re never gonna love me like I need.” Nguyen’s aversion to standard melodrama makes her terse dispatches all the more convincing.
Now Hear This: Thao Nguyen – “Bag of Hammers” DOWNLOAD MP3