Connor Desai's debut album was awarded the honor of inclusion on Indie Music's top 25 CDs of 2007 list. Find out why reviewer Jennifer Layton is calling this break-out EP "a must for anyone with a soul."
...In praise of Connor Desai's debut EP:
"This smoky-voiced jazz/pop siren stayed in my CD player for months. My toes melted into the floor each time I heard that croon drift out of my speakers. She gets edgy and raw sometimes, not adverse to dropping an F bomb here and there, but she can also slide into Radio-Friendly Land without compromising that spirited attitude. A must for anyone with a soul."
---Indie Music Magazine
"I melted at the very first notes. Good Lord, where has this voice been all my life? Take the easy lightness of Edie Brickell, add in the scratch of Rickie Lee Jones, dip it in hot buttered rum, put it in a smoky jazz nightclub, and you have Connor Desai. And you only have her for six tracks, so savor the sound. Let it melt over you and make your toes tingle. This debut EP is sheer bliss.
The lyrics carry the same edgy purr as the vocal. “Seems I’ve been f***** up, I’ve gone and judged my cup before filling it up,” she confesses in “Do I,” a great slow stand-up bass and brush percussion groove with a subtle funky vibe. She also turns the tables well in “Trouble Is”:
The trouble is I wake inside my head
The trouble is I got nowhere to hide, to run to
The trouble is you ...
“At All” is a standout for its live atmosphere. You can hear the echo in the mic, and whether or not this was actually recorded in a club, I can still smell the alcohol in the air, feel the close presence of the crowd, and see the cabs and buses moving past the windows. And like the others, the song is dreamy. Sad sentiments set to romantic music. “Don’t waste your lovin’ on me,” she sings, “I’m too drenched to sense that it’s warm.”
Desai makes a seamless transition into more radio-friendly pop on the EP second half. “Wake Up” is snappy and playful, and “Will You Love” has a very modern pop/rock feel. It flows. But I like the return to the lush sound on the final track, the intriguingly-titled “Deviance,” and those fabulous lyrics:
I’m emptying my pockets on this stage
Slide down ridges in my pants and fingers
Ridges in the throats of the singers ...
I’ll just hit “play” and slide into this again. Next time Seattle gets hit with the crazy snowstorms they had this winter, Desai should just step out into her yard, strum her guitar and sing. People will be talking for years about that crazy winter where it stayed at 90 degrees and half of Puget Sound evaporated."
--Jennifer Layton, Indie Music Magazine
"Slowcore fanatics might be amazed with the deft ease that Connor Desai portrays a sound that’s somewhere lost between pop, indie folk, and vocal jazz. Sort of like if Norah Jones had never been discovered and was forced to record in her Brooklyn apartment. The album is awash in fiery lyrics that are delivered with sublime intentions. A sexy vocal dances above the fray of stripped down percussion, light guitar, and danceable bass lines. This is New York City (via Seattle) captured on wax my friends (or silver disc for you heathens out there)."
- J-Sin (Smother Magazine, Smother.net)
Over the years, Connor Desai has morphed her folk roots into jazz, indie, and even (tastefully produced) pop numbers. While her songs often oscillate between these genres, they do so effortlessly thanks to the common thread of her unmistakable vocals.
Connor has been singing since she can remember. She started piano lessons around age 8, but the guitar she received for her 16th birthday is responsible for her place in the music scene today. She credits Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, and James Taylor as her first real inspiration, and later, as she began experimenting with new sounds and musical disciplines; Feist, Norah Jones, and Laura Veirs came into sharp focus.
She started her public career in suburban Pennsylvania while still in high school, playing at open mics and various school-related gigs. After that came a short stint in Durham, NC – a year of college and more open mics. Then onto Seattle, where she finished school at UW, formed a band, and began gigging in earnest. She continues to play at bars and clubs in and around the Seattle area.
Connor’s band consists of longtime bassist, Alex Trzyna, and drummer, Mike O’Doherty. Connor, with the help of Alex and Mike, recorded her first (self-titled) EP in November 2006. The album contains all original songs written by Connor and was produced by Matt Brown of Trespassers William. While only six tracks in length, it is representative of the style and scope of her music, and reflects both old and new influences while remaining utterly unique.
Connor is currently poised to release her sophomore effort, a full length album entitled, "Use Your Hands" in mid 2010. When that album becomes widely available, it will be sold on CDbaby. In the meantime, you can find two unreleased preview-only tracks on her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/connordesai.