Somewhere in-between Sarah McLachlan‘s smooth pop and Beth Orton‘s penchant for the experimental lies the sounds of Beth Hirsch. However, unlike McLachlan and Orton, Hirsch has yet to find her wide audience as a solo artist, having been much more commercially successful on her collaborations with other artists.
Hirsch was ‘discovered’ in the late 90’s while living in Paris. She had released her debut EP, Minor’s Son in 1997 and it had earned her notice from Jean Benoit Dunkel and Nicolas Godin of the electronic-dream pop duo Air, who invited Hirsch to guest appear on their 1998 album, Moon Safari. With Air, Hirsch co-wrote two of the album’s tracks: ‘All I Need’ and ‘You Make It Easy.’
Still riding the wave from the major success of Moon Safari, Hirsch released her second EP, P-Town Rubies the following year. Filled with whirling, electronic percussion and abstract lyrical moments, P-Town Rubies seemed to hint at the direction Hirsch could possibly go as a solo artist.
Early Days became Hirsch’s first full-length album and was released internationally in 2000 (although it was initially released a year prior in France). Surprising to some, Early Days found Hirsch’s sound stripped of all the special audio effects. Acoustics are dominate here, allowing her finely tuned voice to become the focal point.
Hirsch’s second album was Titles & Idols, released in late 2001. Although not as sparse as Early Days, Titles & Idols basically follows the same path musically. There is a lite-electronic presence, but ultimately, there is nothing particularly groundbreaking here; just a nice, steady album. Sweet, but not entirely memorable.
The following years have kept Hirsch busy with her music. She has collaborated with Jakatta on their 2002 album, Visions with the Air-esque sounding ‘One Fine Day’ and ‘Home Away From You,’ and has most recently contributed her song ‘Arrival’ to the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed film, Crash.