Ballad of Paper Ships
This CD was a CD BABY EDITOR'S PICK! ------------------------------------ Reviews ... Singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen, a fact that makes the good ones really stand out. Local artist Odessa Chen got off to a great start in 2003 with One Room Palace, and she's kept things moody and beautiful on her new The Ballad of Paper Ships. Though her haunting songs are strong enough to stand on their own, Paper Ships once again finds Chen backed by an impressive array of helpers including Wilco's Nels Cline, Tarentel's Danny Grody, and Xiu Xiu's Devin Hoff. The dreamy compositions-aided by cello, French horn, and more-are much too straightforward to get her lumped in with the freak folk scene, which acts as a double edged sword: She may be toiling in relative obscurity now, but her pure talent seems destined to take her much further than any fad could. ~The Onion ... Oooh. A lady's voice cuts through the frowns of indifference in the office, a breathy, pure and spine tingling affair that has me hooked. Nina Nastasia springs to mind whilst listening to Odessa Chen's new CD 'the Ballad of Paper Ships'. Otherworldly gothic folk and post rock shapes combine in Chicago tinged fashion. Fragile, atmospheric, gentle songs with a clarity not often encountered at this level. The production is full but not Albini dense. We had an album in over 4 years ago by Odessa and recal loving that too. This superb album will sooth your Winter parched soul like no other. Invest with love. (there's even origami instructions to fold your own paper ship...awww!). ~ Norman Records -------------------------------- About The Ballad of Paper Ships ~ This, the second record by Odessa Chen,is in keeping with her debut One Room Palace, but here the darkness is broken by moments of light. Using the paper ship as a metaphor for the fragile, handmade nature of love, the songs navigate around dark memories and places of tenderness and joy. Cello, double bass, bells, glasses and French horn lend texture to the arrangements. Guest musicians include the incredibly gifted guitarists Nels Cline of Wilco and Nels Cline Singers, Danny Grody from Tarentel, and Craig Adams of Winfred E. Eye, as well as classically trained cellist Sam Bass. This is the ?rst time drummer Rich Douthit appears, and although Devin Hoff was a guest on the ?rst record, he plays bass throughout here. Their subtle, inspired playing is a constant presence, binding the songs together. Produced by Odessa the record was engineered primarily by Jay Pellicci. About Odessa ~ Odessa Chen attracted international attention with her debut record, One Room Palace. Since then, she has toured internationally, been interviewed on NPR, MTV and Paci?c Fusion TV, and her work has appeared in numerous independent ?lms, compilations, and radio stations. She has played many places, from warehouses to The Great American Music Hall, Maritime Hall, and Bottom of the Hill. She has shared stages with Damien Jurado, the Microphones, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Mirah, Mia Doi Todd, Jolie Holland, and Vienna Teng and appears on releases by Thee More Shallows, Charles Atlas and Dineh (singing in Finnish). She was a member of Thee More Shallows from 2004--2005 and Troia (SF Weekly Music Award) from 1995-1999. She has studied classical voice and cello and sung in various early classical music choirs, but is a self-taught guitarist. She has worked as a session vocalist for television, radio and recordings. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland.