Tracy Shedd – Arizona
New Granada Records
★★★ (out of 5 stars)
After releasing the excellent but overlooked 2008 album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines, this Jacksonville native effectively disappeared. Now the slowcore dignitary steps back into the spotlight on esteemed Tampa indie label New Granada. And though it features some heavyweight help from the Rosebuds' Ivan Howard, Denison Witmer, Naïm Amor and Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, Shedd's re-emergence is a momentously dressed-down one. Her fifth LP, but acoustic debut, is free of percussion, distortion and almost anything digital. Amid production so unobtrusive and naturalistic, she fortunately has the spacing, melody and expression to carry the atmosphere in an understated and plaintive, but warmly affecting way. Unlike before, her lovely but unassertive voice is now in the fore. And as standouts like "Sing to Me," "You're No Fool" and her cover of Sonic Youth's "Teenage Riot" demonstrate, it proves a worthy guide. Even in such a nude state, Arizona reaffirms Shedd as a criminally overlooked talent.
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