From the Lion’s Mouth

Kill Rock Stars

Two years ago, the Von Trapp children performed a seasonal-themed show at an establishment that called itself “the world’s largest Christmas store,” which was near where I was living at the time. I flirted briefly with the idea of going to bask in the spectacle, but even then thought such overwhelming saccharine kitsch gave me a headache. I’d like to think that if one of that family’s younger female members ever managed to extract herself from the pandering nostalgia circuit, she’d probably make an album like Nedelle’s From the Lion’s Mouth. With songs drenched in technicolor, the disc toes a fine line between pop, jazz, bossa nova and doo wop. Nedelle pulls this off despite keeping the instrumentation to a minimum – mostly just one finger-picked guitar. Her perfect songbird voice easily picks up the slack, providing nearly all the melody. Occasional assistance from outside sources bolster the energy on some tracks, most notably the deliriously off-kilter rhythm section of “Good Gried,” perhaps the album’s best moment. Lion’s Mouth is a breeding ground for unbridled optimism and eternal sunshine that lead to some overly precious lyrics, but these just add to Nedelle’s iconoclasm. Being on Kill Rock Stars – a label known for politics, attitude and distortion – Nedelle could still toe the label line and slay the modern rock hacks. She’d just do it singing sweetly, leading the fools straight back through the lion’s mouth and into the clutches of her riot grrl brethren.

Kill Rock Stars:

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