Marian Call is a composer and singer currently working and living in Anchorage, Alaska. Her self-produced debut album, Vanilla, is an home-baked lo-fi collection of unorthodox alt-folk songs. She sings with a hint of classical training and a deep undercurrent of soul. Marian's compositions are half study & calculation, half improvisational instinct. Her positive yet direct, honest lyrics appeal to people of discerning taste across all demographics.
If it's an artist comparison you're looking for, the following should serve: the love child of Joni Mitchell and Jason Mraz gets a little tipsy at a party hosted by Pink Martini and winds up staying out all night carousing with Ani DiFranco, Diana Krall, Fiona Apple, Erin McKeown, Norah Jones, & the Ditty Bops, only to be arrested for double inflections, odd instrumentation, and irregular phrase lengths by Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spektor.
"Vanilla" is Marian's first album and her magnum opus thus far. She's done several side projects as well, like the Song of the Month project (bootlegs & basement recordings) and a work by commission for nerds and geeks (the album "Got to Fly").
Reviews from bloggers and Marian's online fans:
"Marian’s music is hard to pin down; it’s like folk but not at all cloying like so many folk singers are. It’s not dance or rock; it’s simple, personal, small band coffee-shop kinda stuff. Sorta. If you know Sara Hickman, you know Marian. Her voice is clear and beautiful, and not at all artificial like every gorram singer on the radio these days (and Marian uses that word in one of her songs; like I said, Firefly, baby). The words are intelligent — imagine that! — and she has a fantastic musical sense."
The Bad Astronomer, http://www.badastronomy.com/
"Okay, I don't normally pass on another blogger's links, but it's not every day you come across a voice so pure and beautiful as that of Marian Call. The Bad Astronomy Blog makes mention of her, almost by accident. Still a newcomer, she has a way of bringing indie and folk together in a melody of grace and passion for the arts. Have a listen at her MySpace page, and let me know what you think."
The Quintessential Geek, http://qgeek.blogspot.com/
"[Marian] has the voice of an angel: pure, clear, strong, and capable of wiping out a city. Talent, great song-writing ability, and a sense of humor: Marian Call is the anti-Britney.
There’s a strong Firefly feel here. “Dark Dark Eyes” is about River, the stray “gorram” pops up, and these songs have a goal we identify with: there’s a strong female character here. A lot of them, really. There’s the one who’s afraid she doesn’t love enough, and the one that surrenders her heart completely. There’s the one who rather wistfully wishes she was sexy and the one who delivers a verbal smackdown to a phony. My favorite songs are “Vanilla (I’m Not Sexy)” which describes my wife’s self-image perfectly, and “Flying Feels Like” which should be riding the Top 40 if Billboard had any taste left. And you will be unable to not sing along with her cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea Morning.” Just give in, you’ll get a headache trying to hold out. Head to her MySpace page for some samples, and more will be available at her web page soon."
C.A. Bridges, http://www.serenitystuff.com/
"A modern Joni Mitchell, a Norah Jones without the maudlinosity." C. A. Bridges, twitter.com
"Marian Call is an up and comer that could rival Diana Krall or Norah Jones. She's much more whimsical, and just as talented, and she's got real personality as well." Ed R, jgas.org
"I got the new CD last night and listened to it over a quiet dinner and a glass of wine. I must say, it is perfect. I loved hearing the familiar songs in a different context, coming out of my good speakers with all their new friends. Some of the ones I hadn't heard before really blew me away. I think "I'm Yours" may be my new favorite, so simple and honest. I love it." Rich, myspace.com
"Marian Call's self-produced album, Vanilla, is a cool and eclectic mix of witty lyrics, jazzy vocals, and tight acoustic backing from the guys in the band. These unconventional songs and their sly singer would be comfortable in a smoke-filled Paris nightclub in the 50s, or a funky coffeehouse in Manhattan this weekend. This is a thinking person's album, but still full of feeling and fun." Billz, myspace.com
"Vanilla is a smart bask in honestly luxurious whim and rhetoric. It flaunts of warm frisky love in a chilled alaskan sun." Luke Fildes, myspace.com
"The album is a passing whiff of purpose-driven funkiness. It sounds like honesty distilled." Paul, myspace.com
"Vanilla is as much a twirl around the amusement park as it is a self-depricating spasm of insight. It sounds like acoustic joy jazz with occasional tendencies toward the serious and sultry side of folk." Kristin, myspace.com