MP3 Devon Sproule - Upstate Songs
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10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: Folky Pop
"Upstate Songs is perhaps the sweetest and most honest folk-pop album recorded this year, Sproule's vocal and lyrical beauty is unmatched."
- Rolling Stone "Critic's Top Albums of 2003"
"Inventive folky Devon Sproule carries on Charlottesville, VA's tradition of great music."
- Performing Songwriter Magazine
"A transformed female folky. Her melodic ambitions bring to mind Bjork, and her forays into the dark, Michelle Shocked..."
- Village Voice
"Devon Sproule has noteworthy guitar chops and an undeniably soulful vocal sensibility."
-The New Yorker Magazine
With the release of her third CD, Upstate Songs, rising-star Devon Sproule joins the growing roster of artists on City Salvage Records, the independent multi-media label out of Brooklyn, New York. Released on June 3rd, 2003, Upstate Songs features a collection of bright, sparsely arranged compositions and represents a new direction from the grittier, electric sounds that gained Sproule national recognition with the release of her previous two albums.
Raised on Canadian folk music, dead teenager ballads from the 50's and the Beatles on a 465-acre commune in rural Virginia, the twenty-one-year-old Sproule began touring nationally at the age of sixteen, sometimes performing with the accompaniment of a rock band. Although the rock-influenced sounds featured on Long Sleeve Story, released in 2001 and produced by Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard (who also appears on the record) brought Sproule's name to the public eye, it is the music on Upstate Songs that will establish her as a considerable, mature songwriting talent.
In "Plea For A Good Night's Rest," the album's opening track, Sproule measures a good night sleep as a reward for a day well-spent and a life well-lived. Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, Sproule's angelic voice sings, "Sleep she comes to steal the ones who/Fill their glass and leave the rest/Whose teeth get brushed, who eat enough/And know how to treat their friends."
The brave, sonic venutre of "Should Have Been Snow" introduces a gunshot-beat snare drum and a grooving, bouncing electric bass, along with electric guitar distortions that interrupt the album's solemn quiet.
"My Baby Just Cares For Me," The Donaldson/Kahn-penned standard, is accorded a sparkling, gleeful treatment by a young artist with, in addition to her own obvious songwriting abilites, a comprehensive appreciation for American popular and folk song traditions.
Upstate Songs is devastating: a beautiful understated album, haunting yet full of joy. Devon Sproule is fearless," says tour-mate and creator of FOUND Magazine, Davy Rothbart.
Sproule has also toured and/or shared stages with the likes of: Dan Bern, Erin McKeown, Guster, Dave Matthews Band, Eddie From Ohio, Nerissa and Katryna Nields and David Gray.
Rolling Stone's "Critics Top Albums of 2003" called Upstate Songs, "Perhaps the sweetest and most honest folk pop album recorded this year." Critic Julie Gerstein recalls being "blown away by Devon's live performance," she says. "She brings something special to the genre...a sense of sweetness, innocence and clarity.
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