Anna Vogelzang: album review

Anna Vogelzang
Canary in a Coal Mine
(PAPER ANCHOR)

Folk is freedom. Anna Vogelzang gave this no second thought when accumulating the ensembles for her latest solo endeavor, Canary in a Coal Mine. “Undertow” introduces her with a thumb piano before she trades her accompaniment for a tumbling banjo in “Die Trying,” a posi-folk trial and error. Vogelzang’s got the voice, but it’s not always flattering in an angry folk dialogue; always clear to enunciate, her messages remain syncopate-free. She alters cadence on “Heart Beat Faster” in a struggle for adrenaline, urging herself to live. “So Long” skips to a quick, string beat to compliment her prettier, sultry notes, when she chooses to use them. “Whiskey Drawn” could easily be a hit in Kentucky and pave Vogelzang’s stardom in alcohol-fueled song sprees. She’d probably enjoy the scenery too, as nature is her best muse. Ghostly banjo lingers over “Volcanoes” to an intimate violin waltz in “Texas,” yet she breaks from melodic form to accompany stand-up bass on “Oregon Trailed.” Through this journey you may grow fond of Vogelzang’s smooth croon, whenever she’s not strained in folk-talk. They make good walk-along tunes, but always anticipate a change of pace. — Lara Kinne

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