Winter Stops All Sound

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In her hometown of Providence, RI, alternative pop/rock singer/musician/songwriter Susie Ghahremani has favored at least two different musical environments; she has had a band called Snuggletooth, and she also records as a solo artist. Snoozer sounds like the name of a band, but it's actually the name that Ghahremani uses when she's performing solo. Released on her own Happy Happy Birthday to Me label in 2003, this six-song EP is an intriguing demonstration of her talents. Ghahremani's forte is a melodic yet quirky and off-center style of alternative pop/rock, and her vocal style goes well with her eccentric sense of melody. The New Englander's vocal style, which is both deadpan and girlish, is an acquired taste -- a term that has also been applied to everyone from Primus to Ornette Coleman -- and once you have acquired a taste for her singing, it's easy to savor the offbeat pop instincts that she brings to "Winterclothes," "Providence," and other tracks. As a songwriter, Ghahremani is many things -- sometimes clever, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes thought-provoking -- and as a musician, she can handle a variety of instruments. It would be an exaggeration to describe Winter Stops All Sound as the work of a one-woman band; Ghahremani has some help from fellow New Englander Cara Hyde, who has been with the band V for Vendetta and is heard on drums and cello. However, most of the instruments are played by Ghahremani, including bass, guitar, organ, and keyboards -- and her memorable organ/keyboard work sometimes recalls the new wave of the late '70s and early '80s. But Winter Stops All Sound isn't trying to be overtly retro; all things considered, this EP still sounds like it was recorded in the 2000s, and hopefully, it will bring some national attention to the individualistic Ghahremani.

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