Monday, May 01, 2006

Casey Dienel

It's sad how certain musical genres are like fashion trends: they're hot and everyone has to have one, and then they disappear for like 4 years and all of a sudden they come back again. (Remember those camo-patterned t-shirts that were all the rage in the mid-90's, and now everyone and everything is camo?? yeah, *that's* what i'm talking about). The female-piano-songstress genre was reignited, i suppose, by Regina Spektor over the past couple of years. Casey Dienel somehow got lost in the shuffle of the revival though, and that's too bad. Though i wouldn't say she sounds a lot like Spektor, the styles definitely draw some similarities.

What's kind of annoying though is the tendency to lump them all together, though many of them don't sound anything alike. First of all, Dienel is definitely more jazz-inspired. Just take a listen to "Coffee Beanery" or "Baby James" and the strong vaudeville influence is obvious, (the latter track also has some sweet clarinet action.... that touches my heart). At times her music is more free-flowing, and Dienel just lets her fingers fly like on "Embroidery". Dienel can mix things up a little though, like on "Old Man", where she's more stripped down, left with only her voice and the piano. Or "Stationary", where she abandons the piano entirely for a bamjo. All in all, Dienel is an extremely talented songwriter and pianist, and shows it off consistently throughout "Wind-Up Canary" with her campy sound and fun arrangements. A sweet find!

Casey Dienel - Wind-Up Canary


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