Angels Here Among Us
A kinder, gentler Ani DiFranco?
It’s easy to make that comparison given Jenn August’s confessional lyrics and lesbian references. There is anger here, namely on “This Is What Men Like,” wherein she strikes against her dad’s sexism. Like DiFranco, what gives August’s lyrics weight are their little details. On “This Is What Men Like,” she sings, “He launches into a sea of questions/Like will she miss men’s erections/And what is it that she and her girlfriend do alone.” August switches back and forth from third person to first person in the words, basically revealing to us that this story is actually a personal one. But there’s a friendliness to August’s singing and lyrics that is closer to real acoustic folk than DiFranco’s punk makeover of the genre.
August sings of friendship and of love, all told in an easygoing manner that usually translates better in live performance — when you can you see the expressions on the artist’s face — than on CD. On the album, the focus is mainly on her words. They convey intimate thoughts like private letters to friends. Romance is found (as on “Waiting for You”) and then lost (“Separate Ways”), conveyed through the point-of-view of a smart, introspective woman.
Women will probably relate to these tracks more than men, but it’s always fascinating to read people’s thoughts, especially when streamed through such pleasant music.
Jenn August: www.jennaugust.com