206. Kimya Dawson – “Hidden Vagenda”

I may be stating the obvious here, but the world of popular music is pretty sexist. In particular, there is enormous differences in the expectation around vocal ability. 

Album Cover Hidden Vagenda Kimya DawsonWhile Dylan, Richman and many other dudes can get away with close-to-atonal stylings, we expect a female vocalist to sing like an angel (with this simile premised on (i) angels existing and (ii) said angels being perfect in diction and pitch).

Kimya Dawson thus sticks out like an ailing thumb, with a voice that breaks, crackles and splutters throughout.  Many of you will be familiar with it as the defacto “voice” of Ellen Page from the Juno soundtrack.

Here we hear Dawson in full swing, delivering fourteen lyrics-heavy numbers. Many of them thrill me, overburdened as they are with oddball imagery, memorable phrases and insane couplets. 

Dawson occupies a parallel universe to most folk and melds the cynicism of Rob Clarkson, the naivety of Jonathan Richman and the perversity of The Magnetic Fields.

This album contains enough gems (the first 3 tracks are fantastic, Parade pure summer joy) to overcome the slide in quality in the back half.

One final notes, this album benefits considerably from headphone listening…

File under : Surrender to her Vagenda

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