Friday, February 11, 2011

Back In The Game

With grace, beauty and punch - she's back at it. I have a longstanding, romanticized relationship with the sweet and girlish croons of Ingrid Michaelson, her quirky melodies and the relateable words which sent me skipping merrily through my late adolescent years.

She's grounded, anything but manufactured and even though sometimes listening to her pleasant and obvious messages might seem too "easy" for some people, I find it quite the opposite. I find her real. In fact, if she was taking applications to be a good friend of hers, I would very seriously look into filling one out.

This plain Jane and versatile sweetheart broke onto the scene in 2006 as part of a popular influx of indie female voices that included the likes of Regina Spektor, Kate Nash and Sara Bareilles. Cute and honest wording paired with catchy riffs, pop rhythm and angelic harmonies scored all of these ladies runaway hits on shows like Greys Anatomy, One Tree Hill and The OC.  Music supervisors, men and women alike ate up every drop of modesty seeping from their words and tinkering intruments. This endearing and appreciated modesty was obvious to all of us - we knew their sound well but never expected to see this clan dating Alex Rodriguez or climbing panty-less out of a limo at any point.

Michaelson, in particular, was often the poster-girl for this type of acoustic indie-gal music. Acclaimed and adorable albums like Girls and Boys (2006) and Be OK (2008) made their respective college radio splashes, scoring her sold-out shows and spots on fellow indie-rocker's tours. Some songs that sculpted my early 20s and will forever remain in my heart are "Giving Up", "The Way I Am" (there's no way you haven't heard this at least once) , "You and I" and "Keep Breathing". These songs are like pixie dust over otherwise gloomy days; visions of happiness, growing old together, and persevering through life's little lightning storms.

A song that broke Michaelson's acoustic guitar mold to feature bursting choral vocals, rapid classical piano and a more serious lyrical message was 2008's "Turn To Stone". Her lyrics are clean and straightforward but encompass an important lesson - and I still get little shivers when the rising anthem heaves itself through your speakers at 2:39.


But, the reason I bring Ingrid up today is because she has only just digitally released an equally as magnificent and classically Ingrid track. There are minor upheavals to the old sound in "Parachute"- it's a little more abrupt, a little sassier and to be honest, I love it. She's giving off a a coy indie minx vibe, while still sticking to true Ingrid style and behaviour. At this point, she's married to fellow acoustic-popper Greg Laswell, has done the cute girl-next-door bit long enough, and I think it was time for her to add a little spike to her 2011 drink of choice. I like the taste. Do you?


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