Monday Music Muse: Keren Ann
Melancholy, fresh familiarity, and a geography lesson in a soft mezzo-soprano.
By Maria Popova
Before we launch into today’s indie muse, there’s another piece of music goodness simply too good not to share: The audio archive of iconic Canadian radio show Inside The Music, where you can find anything from a documentary on Jamaican Dub music, to a jazz portrait of the great Guido Basso, to full concerts by TED-tested, Carnegie-Hall-approved virtuoso Natalie MacMaster. So do check it out.
Today, we’re looking at a genuine culture-crosser: Israel-born, Paris-and-New-York-based singer/songwriter Keren Ann is the daughter of a Dutch-Javanese mother and a Russian-Israeli father. (Nope, that’s not a typo — Java is a very real island in Indonesia.) Naturally, her music is so impossibly eclectic that it oozes a vague aftertaste of familiarity — think Feist meets Carla Bruni meets The Beatles — while being completely original, lingering in the delightful limbo between indie folk and Nouvelle Chanson.
And if she sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because her music has quietly snuck into some of TV’s biggest hipster darlings of the past few years: Her song L’Onde Amère was featured on a 1st season episode of HBO’s Big Love, and Jardin d’Hiver made it onto the final season of Six Feet Under.
Published February 9, 2009