Chantal Acda - Live In Dresden

by Jim Harris Rating:8 Release Date:2014-09-15

There have been two concerts in my life where I had my expectations shot through with tiny holes. The first one was a Van Morrison concert in 1991. Never been a huge fan but, Jesus, when he belted out a song it carried way and above the music. Then, just earlier this year I was dragged kicking and screaming to a Regina Spektor concert. Her little love-ditties and quirky word-plays. Please. But Lord, what a voice. Twenty-times more powerful in concert and once again, I just sat there with my mouth open as Regina rang out each song.

I had the same thing happen listening to Chantal Acda. Live in Dresden is a six-song EP of seemingly simple lo-fi, folky musical backdrops - until Chantal opens her mouth. Then into the stratosphere the song goes as the often quiet, occasionally jazzy beats accompany one of those voices. Chantal’s voice is stunningly beautiful, with just the right fragile weirdness to elevate it all. She can belt it out, folks.  

This live album seems as tight and well-conceived as a musical Swiss watch. The lonesome Ry Cooder-esque guitar weaves in and out at just the right times and subtle drums and cellos occasionally add exactly the right atmosphere and backdrop for one of the finest most beautiful voices out there.

On each song, from the odd opening track, ‘Jason’, on through the closest thing to a hit song, ‘Own Time’, and the rest of the first 5 tracks, Chantal’s voice weaves in and out of carefully orchestrated and compelling jams with quiet and powerful conviction. The last song is, strangely enough, an instrumental track that seems to tie the whole atmosphere and concept up nicely. 

Chantal Acda and her friends have released a small musical gem with Live in Dresden, and Chantal Acda is a voice and name to remember.

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