Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nina Nastasia

On Leaving
Fat Cat Records

Nina Nastasia doesn’t throw any surprise punches with On Leaving, but hits hard with stark emotions and a powerfully understated voice. As a songwriter, she crafts epic melancholy that flows with effortless beauty, underscored by the warm reverberations of the wood of her guitar in “One Old Woman” or the ivory keys in “Brad Haunts A Party.” And when she offers “we don’t get around like we used to do,” it’s hard not to see her as a black-clad kid sister to Hank Williams.

“Dumb I Am” is a self-effacing folk ballad that’s driven by womanly insecurities. But rather than let her fears reduce her to tears, Nastasia finds strength in summoning her troubles and letting them fly in songs of hard loving and hard heartbreak.

--Chad Radford