zee avi

While i persozeeavi_music_cdnally have a love/hate relationship with the online phenom known as YouTube, it undoubtedly has served to provide a launch pad for some amazing and very deserving independent artists. Recently I was tipped off by Wired.com‘s article on Malaysia wunderkind Zee Avi, a self-proclaimed “minimal postmodern romantic storyteller,” who has been launched to world-wide acclaim after being discovered by manager Ian Montone (MIA, Vampire Weekend, White Stripes,  Raconteurs). Her video of an original Christmas song went viral (it has received over 800,000 views to date!) and since being “discovered” has released her self-titled studio debut on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records.

She effortlessly blends old school jazz vocal chops with a campy modern  pop sensibility. Her sweet melodic style paired with slightly melancholic and clever lyrics create a juxtaposition of themes that in any other artist would sound contrived or pretentious- but not Zee. Her humble beginnings, paired with obvious years of practice have resulted in an album of finely crafted tunes that is both refined and yet pleasantly down-to-earth at the same time. Even the most elementary of listeners will be able to pick out the subtle (and not so subtle) nods to jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James.

The combination of jazz vocals with folk/pop compositions and insightful writing results in an album that will have you spellbound and charmed at first listen, and as you listen to the compelling voice of this talented young singer you will hear the years of hard work that must have gone into honing this sound. It is organic sounding and natural, which I really enjoy. The instrumental backing is minimal and highly complimentary, mostly relying on Zee’s competent guitar skills and acoustic instruments.

“Bitter Heart”

My choice cuts off the album are: Tracks 3 – Honey Bee and Track 10 – Darlin’ It Ain’t Easy.

Head over to iTunes and buy this amazingly talented musician’s album!


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