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Sasha Dobson

Modern Romance (Secret Sun)

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Free of the angst so common among indie artists today, Sasha Dobson's aptly titled Modern Romance is an atmospheric, love-themed marriage of jazz and Americana. With Norah Jones co-conspirators Jesse Harris and Richard Julian, Dobson has created a sound equally suggestive of Joni Mitchell and Astrud Gilberto.

Unlike Miss Jones, however, Dobson threads fewer pop influences into her musical tapestry. The opener, "Without You," sounds like an updated Gilberto tale of lost love, while Dobson's version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Modern Romance" is a moseying, folk-infused jaunt. "Been Here Before" is a ballad combining slide guitar and brush drum with a '70s singer-songwriter feel. The true standout track, however, is Dobson's duet with Julian, "Spring Is Just Around the Corner," with its rousing banjo-driven swing. The remainder of the album alternates between jazz stylings and country-folk hybrids, closing with a folk-jazz cover of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," simply rendered with Dobson's dreamy soprano, an upright bass, and a banjo.

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