Jolie Holland | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jolie Holland 

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There are plenty of reasons not to expect much from Jolie Holland. She's a refugee from a vastly overrated twang-folk outfit (the Be Good Tanyas), lacks the standout pipes and come-hither charm of fellow roots-pop sirens Jenny Lewis and Neko Case, and her stage presence can best be summed up as aloof. Yet the three albums she's made for Anti- are surprisingly powerful mergers of prewar country, postwar jazz, and timeless mountain music. Her latest, the new Springtime Can Kill You, is slightly more sonically ambitious, with bits of brass and strings folded into her impressionistic, melancholy lyrics. Holland's music is somewhat ethereal, but though her songs don't sound precisely wrought and carefully crafted, that looseness is an asset--the album's gorgeous, gauzy sound invites you to figure out how the songs hang together and why they work so well. Sean Hayes opens. Thu 7/27, 7 and 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $14.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Claude Shade.

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