The best music being made today has a hybrid quality. You can hear it in Outkast, you can hear it in Wilco. It's the stuff that sits-thankfully--beyond the grip of genre. Eulene Sherman lands squarely at the center of this new and crucial tradition. She makes songs that are in a zone where musical histories and the textures born of them move in out with a kind of grace that does sly work on the listener. Classic pop hooks sit beside lean, groove-based interludes. At times it punches-and at times it pulls. In both ways, it gets under your skin.
Eulene builds some big open musical spaces and then populates the landscape there, dropping in the people and their places, as if she's setting it up so she can move in herself. There's an intimacy to it all, like she's going to live next door to you when she gets there. Then she's gone. Which is to say, this is both the sound of things being built and the sound of people moving on. The mystery that makes the music of the Band some of our most haunted American song, the production that has made Emmylou Harris's last decade of recordings so moving: I hear traces of both these things in there.
If artist bios are meant to give us a few facts, spit out a little history, the best I can give you are rumors. She's supposed to live in New York but always seems to be out of town. When I left her a message, she didn't call me back. Everyone I know who has met her tells me they love her. She has twelve brothers. She worked with producers Angelo (Kings of Leon, Patty Griffin) and Caleb Sherman, both of whom have logged some good miles in the music-making mobile. I could go after more facts, but even a pile of them never means much. I'm happy with the music alone. Do yourself the favor, move in.