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Saturday August 30, 2014
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Whit Hill and the Postcards

 

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Whit has written more than one song from the perspective of the homely girl who has accepted her fate. She's hardly homely, but she's no babe, either — her stage presence does not play up to the audience. She lets the music do the work.

Her lyrics have the backbone for it, using situations and characters to tap into common feelings. "50 Miles to Detroit" laments the loss of a far-away lover while appreciating a substitute: "It ain't nothing like you, baby, but at least it's close to home." "Sandusky" describes the empty horror of the life of a daily commuter. In one of the best pieces, with a bubbly reggae beat, Whit sings of a lover who is a hero and protector "there in my dreams, but where are you in the morning?"

Less impressive are her narrative-heavy caper songs, including a twisted tale of circus performers in love and an ugly barroom massacre. These are strong musically, and metaphorically clever, but more complicated and affected than they have to be. Fortunately, Whit Hill can also write a simple, believable love song to make your scalp tingle. I'm glad she is here.

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