Gregory And The Hawk: Leche

Gregory And The Hawk: Leche

Meredith Godreau was smart in choosing her recording name. Confusing as it might initially be, it set her apart from the spate of female singer-songwriter stereotypes still fresh in the minds of those who ever switched on the radio in the ’90s. And yet her brand of solo strumming, picking, playing, and plucking is easier to love than that of contemporary trailblazers like Joanna Newsom or Tiny Vipers, so an album like Leche isn’t exactly easy to place—imagine Liz Phair living in Anacortes, Washington, surrounded by nothing but Phil Elverums, Mirahs, and Karl Blaus. While her 2008 Fat Cat debut was a collaborative studio affair, Godreau’s third full length finds her back in the bedroom, layering her capricious voice over acoustic instruments over ambient fuzz to create arty folk-pop where no two songs follow the same formula. The fantastic “Over And Over” is dark without being dooming, alternating between a finger-picking lockstep and free-floating guitar feedback, and featuring a shouty call-and-response in the middle. Bookending things are “Landscapes”—a minimally sylvan mix of harp pluck, finger-snaps, and violin-bowing—and “Soul Gazing,” a completely breezy, harmonica-accented day in the park. Elsewhere, she manages lilting pop despite relying primarily on a drum machine and a keyboard (“Olly Olly Oxen Free”) and whips up a completely unobnoxious Appalachian-flavored cover of “(I Just) Died In Your Arms.” Singer-songwriter. Bedroom popster. Weirdo folky. Whatever. An album this inventive and enjoyable transcends any of those names.

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