Zoë Scott

Beautiful to Be Alive

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When this London born L.A. transplant sings, beautifully and mystically, of the "Caves of Possibility" and her trippy "Desert Garden" -- two of the catchy and anthemic pop/rockers on her strong, independently released debut -- she's not simply engaging in metaphor. She once spent five months in an isolated mountain house in Spain listening to songwriters of the '60s. Once settled in California, Scott headed to the Mojave Desert, where she lived for two months on a "vision quest" to craft the lyrics for this album. Back in L.A., she lived in a van in Laurel Canyon for a time before cutting demos. Her earthiness adds to the realism of her wistful lyrics and trippy approach to tracks like "Wildflower," "Planet Love," "Goddess," and "Sundance" (which has an '80s new wave Go-Go's sheen about it) but the fiery rock production is slick and polished all the way thanks to Ken Allardyce, engineer for Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, and Avril Lavigne. Allardyce hooked her up with the Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik, who adds his blistering guitar to "Wildflower." "Born to Love You" takes the party Eastward with some Indian sitar harmonies (she has performed there!). Listening to the disc in entirety, the listener will feel that Scott is most often caught between two intriguing personas -- a rocker who grew up in the '80s and an old soul that's comfortable mining her flower power idealism. All of this, however, makes her a very original artist with a unique vision, half steeped in the commercial rock world and partway floating in the clouds listening to the trippy voices of the universe. In other words, she's the perfect independent artist.

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