Snowblink

Long Live

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The colorfully named Daniela Gesundheit, who is one half of Snowblink, has the kind of voice that could launch a thousand ships or simply hypnotize an individual listener with its intimate appeal. Her warm, gentle croon is the sort that you can lose yourself in, and stay lost for an indefinite amount of time. If you work it right, you might even be able to live inside of it. But even in the worst-case scenario, you can still play Long Live, the Canadian duo's second album, to your heart's content. Snowblink, who are completed by Dan Goldman, hail from the same Canadian indie pop scene that has given the world Owen Pallett, Broken Social Scene, et al., but instead of taking an orchestral pop approach, Snowblink prefer to pare things down for a minimalist art-folk sound. The dynamic throughout Long Live is a hushed, delicate one, enabling the tiniest details of the acoustic-based chamber folk arrangements to occupy the spotlight as needed, but Gesundheit's voice remains the focal point throughout the album. Her coos, swoops, and warbles can be seen as part of a stylistic continuum that goes back at least as far as early Joni Mitchell and runs up through more contemporary types like Marissa Nadler and Josephine Foster, but the Snowblink singer has a captivating appeal that is hers alone. And when you combine that with a gift for poetic lyrics full of such evocative phrases as "I'll put a bullhorn to the mouth of your ghost" ("Heckling the Afterglow"), you've got something substantial on your hands.

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