Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Lady Sings It Blue

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Lady Sings It Blue

Article excerpt

Singer Thalia Zedek talks about the melancholy songs that have fueled her career for more than 20 years

In the course of Thalia Zedek's 20-year music career, there has never been a shortage of praise for her or her music. The press has called her songs "a revelation," "impossibly original," and "enthralling," and she has received equally high marks from her peers: Indie-rock demigod Bob Mould is one of her admirers, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was a fan, and Indigo Girl Amy Ray has likened Zedek's voice to an "old Marlene Dietrich film." "Her songs have made a mark on every underground musician I know, from folk to punk," Ray says.

After spending the '90s at the epicenter of the stormy blues-garage band Come, openly lesbian Zedek recently decided to deliver her new songs in the much quieter musical climate of piano and viola. The result is her current CD, Been Here and Gone (Matador), a collection of her own soul-rending love songs, plus covers of the likes of Leonard Cohen.

"The bands I'd been playing in had been loud, guitar-oriented bands. The vocals almost became a backdrop," Zedek says of her stylistic switch. "It's much easier to be expressive when you can actually hear yourself! …

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