Zoe Boekbinder “Darling Specimens”

Listening to this record makes me think of tons of stuff from several eras: Anne Clark, Petra Haden, Grey Anne. Zoe Boekbinder knows exactly how to make the kind of music I like, and she does it over and over again on these 12 darling specimens of songs.
“Hollow Bones” has a somber horn to add to the mix and is slightly folkier. “Serrated Spoon” is perfect with a mug of cocoa, a cat, and a ball of yarn. (Some assembly required.)
Jenny Toomey fans would like “Seven Times.” The end of “Breezewood, PA” sounds like the beginning of this song. If I were a DJ, I would end with that song and begin with this one. Oh, wait.
If you like storytelling in the Fiery Furnaces style, “Gravity” will do the trick. The chorus has a strangely rhythmic feel. It’s good, but it really stood out to me for some reason, as if the Andrews Sisters had shown up at the recording session.
“Bakery” reminds me of Regina Spektor, and the horn on this one is a little happier. This is probably the weakest of the good songs on the album, but it’s still amazing. The last track is “Anything Forever” and is another slower one, this time with strings. Musically it reminds me of Lisa Germano, but vocally it’s like all the rest. This would have been one of my Top 10 albums of the year, but it was released too late for me to add it to my list before the deadline.

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