Episode 135: Amy Blaschke
Air date: 5.20.2015
Amy Blaschke sings with the voice of an angel who has spent a lot of time looking after earnest, lonely people with broken hearts. Her singing voice isn’t exactly airy - it is too grounded in alto earthiness to abide flights of vapid soprano fancy. But neither is it husky, because it possesses far too much buoyancy to keep her enchanting melodies from doing anything but soaring. The eleven songs that make up Blaschke’s upcoming fifth album, Opaline, veer from strutting, triple meter Neko Case blues to gentle, fingerpicked indie folk songs that sound like lost Nick Drake classics - with a heavy helping of breezy 60s pop to bind it all together. Blaschke’s melodies share the same balance of the consonant and dissonant aspects of Drake’s music, and producer Brian Whelan’s deft touch brings everything into a soft focus that lets Blashke’s new batch of songs shine in their best light. On the whole, Opaline seems borne of a world in which Wilco releases an album of Stephen Sondheim’s most revered songs. It would be hard for listeners to not fall in love with Blashke’s Opaline, and to fall in love with her for making it.