Thalia Zedek

You're a Big Girl Now

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Thalia Zedek is the kind of artist who is easy to overlook -- her work is so consistently strong, so oblivious to trends, and so true to its uniquely grim, world-weary ethos that for better or worse you can check in after a prolonged absence but still know exactly what to expect. The You're a Big Girl Now EP, her second solo effort, continues the haunted, strung-out blues-rock approach Zedek perfected with her band Come, albeit softened by spartan piano and mournful viola accompaniment (courtesy of Victory at Sea's Mel Lederman and the Willard Grant Conspiracy's David Michael Curry, respectively). Highlighting the six-song set are two covers -- Bob Dylan's title song and the Velvet Underground's transsexual ode "Candy Says" -- that confront themes of gender identity and dislocation with a directness comparable to Zedek's most intimate material; given that her own songs also rely on her raw, gripping vocals to get the message across, she invests in these covers an emotional intensity that the originals never realized, making the songs her own in the process.

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