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    Friday, September 22, 2006

    A wolf in sheep's clothing: Josephine Foster MP3s

    With all of the frenzied attention Joanna Newsom’s forthcoming album has been getting, one artist who deserves more attention is Josephine Foster. The similarities between the two women are striking and manifold: they’re both part of Devendra Banhart’s ever-growing collective, they both energize and enliven folk in vexingly fresh ways, they're both talented instrumentalists, they both have voices that cling to you like Krazy Glue.

    Foster is probably even the weirder of the two, leaping into every album as an experiment. Her 2006 release, A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, found her improbably singing German songs composed by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. On leadoff song “An die Musik,” her operatic vocals float ghostily over a fuzzed-out moan of electric guitar. Her previous work, Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You, featured her playing everything from dulcimer to kazoo to sitar to ukelele.

    Folk's renovation and expansion is one of my favorite developments of recent years and Josephine Foster has played an integral part in it. She's always doing something fascinating, unexpected and off-kilter, and I have no inkling where she'll veer next. Joanna Newsom may have raised the bar considerably with her five-song, fifty-five minute opus Ys, but Josephine Foster is probably already plotting something equally dazzling for 2007.

    * MP3: "An Die Musik" - Josephine Foster from A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing [Buy it]
    * MP3: "Good News" - Josephine Foster from Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You
    * MP3: "Crackerjack Fool" - Josephine Foster from Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You [Buy it]
    * Artist Website: 100 Songs I Sing

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