Olivia Chrestomanci is a twenty-one year-old student currently residing in chilly Minneapolis by way of Massachusetts, who has been recording her unique and cerebral songs while trying to stay warm.
And while her music hasn’t been corralled into standardized albums yet, Chrestomanci has loosely collected them into two labeled batches, and has offered both up for grabs at her page on Last.fm, all while building a growing base of listeners.
These songs are mostly works-in-progress, but even in their barest form, many of them are simply captivating. Chrestomanci has somehow tapped into the ability to exude that same mesmerizing pull that can be found on works by Jolie Holland and earlier songs by Cat Power. The focus here is on her voice and the dream-inspired stories she sings, carried by acoustic guitar and cushioned by soft silence.
Highlights include “Crossroad Demon Blues,” a dark, but seducing tale of the deal makings of a gambling man. And “I Would Have Done,” which uses abrupt and heavy guitar strumming to accentuate the mood of this stunning song of longing.
Now no one knows me as I am
No one knew me as I was
But you remember the way that we were raised
On the taste of salt and the scent of flame
~ Olivia Chrestomanci
With her talent quite obvious, I hope that Chrestomanci continues her songwriting and is one day able to give these songs a more permanent home on record.
But until then, I urge you to give Olivia Chrestomanci’s music a listen. But give it your undivided attention, as most of these songs are intimate and hushed and fragile to outside noise.