Noa Babayof

From a Window to a Wall

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Israeli singer/songwriter Noa Babayof crafts lightly orchestrated, slightly dark folk-pop on her U.S. debut, From a Window to a Wall. Recorded in Philadelphia and sung entirely in English, there's a distant relation to the kind of art song-inclined albums Judy Collins made in the late '60s and early '70s. Babayof's measured, reserved vocal delivery, however, has more in common with Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies or Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. The ingenious arrangements (including a wholly a cappella track, "Them That Are Writing These Songs") are more chamber music than folk, making prominent use of violin, harp recorder, flute, cello, and contra bass, though the overall ambience is of a quiet small ensemble, not a full band or orchestra. As a composer, Babayof favors wistful meditations on somewhat ruffled, lonely, and sad relationships, with some self-referential observations to her role as the songwriter of these tunes.

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