Is there a bigger word than love for music that makes you smile and feel great? To say “I love this artist. No, I mean, I really really love that artist” to someone else (aka blogosphere) just sounds like “great, i guess that artist really does it for you.” See, it just doesn’t really do it justice to call it love.
First of all, can I just be included in this group picture already?
Second of all, this girl beat me to it. Um, 3 years ago [when she signed with Jack Johnson’s label]. Which I knew, and wrote about here, because I bought two of her albums (her debut and the brushfire christmas album she was on) immediately upon my youtube discovery.
Unfortunately, we lost touch when I left my book of beloved CD’s in the moving truck that we road-tripped in out from Cali to Boston in 2010. And then, I was too cheap to replace them. However, I recently discovered Spotify, so…yeah. I’m back on the Zee wagon.
Since ‘love’ is a wide-net that doesn’t fully paint my picture, allow me to elaborate with more words. Two days ago, I discovered her music for the second time, and this ‘Ghostbird’ album for the first. And I have not turned it off yet! I say discovered, but what is more accurate is that it discovered me, took me for a ride for a few hours, and made me feel right at home in my own skin and bones. I am a big music lover to begin with, but the added bonus of listening to someone beautifully take the words right out of your mouth and make it sound even better is just so enjoyable. Listening to this album is like basking in a 3 hour marathon conversation with my dearest friends. Zee writes upbeat, light, and airy strums with a hint of whimsy, some jazz funk, and the most beautiful Billie Holiday-esque velvety voice. But the honest, raw factor of her lyrics really beat out all of that.
Personally, I have been waging my own war for years, in my own (sometimes not so) successful way, to win the world over on the virtue of complete honesty and genuine love for the entire truth of things. I have admittedly not won every battle. Yet, it is a well-known fact that most truth in the world is unpleasant – so why not deal with it more candidly and honestly? Even though we love the fairy tale, we forget that there are pages of struggle and angst in every story before the happy ending comes.
Zee isn’t afraid to take pieces of that struggle and angst and throw them into her happy tunes. In “First Of The Gang” you hear the first few measures and think “oh this is going to be a great romantic song” – and then you hear the chorus…and you cannot believe what you are hearing her say, and you realize that this girl has risen above some intense situations. And then you are still singing it with her, totally upbeat and with a smile on your face. And here she is, (a) touring with Jack Johnson and Co. and (2) not shying away, totally owning every story of her life, shining like a brilliant star that she is.
Like an even cooler Taylor Swift. (did I just say that out loud)
So, in short, take a listen. [Spotify: Zee Avi]
And this one is my favorite. I dedicate this to Brigham – and broke, in love couples everywhere.