Saturday, June 19, 2010

You Should Know: Chris Pureka

A songwriter since 8 and a guitarist at 16, it still took a while for Chris Pureka to get her musical career off the ground. But a little maturity and experience seem to have payed off; since 2004 this talented musician has released three acclaimed albums, and her latest--entitled How I Learned to See in the Dark--has really made an impression on me. Pureka makes gorgeous and often haunting Americana music, relying on her expressive voice and compelling songwriting to stand out from among her many like-minded peers. At times Pureka sounds withdrawn and delicate, but these quiet spells don't last for long before she elevates her voice to a powerful croon that's truly unforgettable. Her songs are not overly earnest and they aren't often focused on traditional (or at least obvious) relationship issues, but her tunes are more compelling because of that, and with a backdrop of slide guitar, violin, and simple percussion, her lyrics are imbued with a gripping emotional energy.

The new record's highlights show Pureka's ability to provide a good deal of variety with a fairly straightforward folk approach, ranging from the dark, weighty "Wrecking Ball" to the uneasy yet beautiful "Landlocked" to the lovely ballad "August 28th" that closes the album. How I Learned to See in the Dark is a thoroughly engrossing Americana album and you should know Chris Pureka.

MP3 Download: Wrecking Ball