August 12, 2009

Marian Call

Anchorage, AK
Recorded at Pacific Studios in Tacoma, WA, by Tony Thomas and by Ryan Brownell at
The Garden Recording Studio in Anchorage, AK | Mixed and mastered by Tony Thomas

Marian Call’s debut album Vanilla is warm, quirky, and fun from beginning to end. “Your Fault,” the “Volvo Song,” “Vanilla” and “Rx: Stop What You’re Doing” stand out as highlights, and are full of many lines that will bring smiles to listener’s faces.

She calls herself a square, a geek and a lexiholic, and in addition to bars and coffee shops, has been playing house concerts and science fiction conventions. She writes songs about Firefly (yes, the Joss Whedon television program). “Dark Dark Eyes” is for River Tam.

Call reminds me of two other “library nerd” songwriters: Nellie McKay and Casey Dienel. Others compare her to Joni Mitchell and if you like her you should also look up the Homer songwriter Sarah C. Hanson.

Inspired studio performances abound on this gem of a disc. My favorite guest appearance is David Salge on clarinet on “Vanilla.” There are other contributions as well. David Pew adds accordion and banjo and his brother Paul delivers sparse piano. These collaborators never distract from what should be front and center, though, Marian’s genuine, humorous lyrics and her soulful and friendly voice. (self-released)
-Isaac Paris

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