Singer and multi-instrumentalist Leslie Mendelson showed some promise on her 2009 debut album Swan Feathers, but she went silent for nearly a decade. Now she is back with Love and Murder, an album with original ballads and a smattering of covers. Sadness has found way in to her vocals. Her friend and producer Joel Dorn died, plus she lost her label and management deal.
The string of bad things happening in her personal life resulted into a darker and far more mature album. She can plead during Murder Me or dream of getting away from it all in Coney Island (with a piano bit that resembles Billy Joel's Goodnight Saigon). Mendelson can safely rely on her voice to carry the tune. Grateful Dead legend Bob Weir noticed that too and he joins her for a cover of Roy Orbinson's Blue Bayou, sticking close to the version that was laid down by Linda Ronstadt.
Mendelson had to start all over, but this time she hits the ground running. She as a raw talent back then, but she has evolved into real folk singer and musician, who can take risks and pull it off - she had the guts to use the ukulele as her instrument of choice for Bob Dylan's Just Like A Woman. Forget the comparisons with Carole King and Rickie Lee Jones. She now sounds like herself.
Love and Murder is released via The Royal Potato Family Release date: April 14th.Tracks:
- Coney Island
- Murder Me
- Chasing The Thrill
- Blue Bayou (feat. Bob Weir)
- Love You Tonight
- Just Like A Woman
- The Circus Is Coming
- Cry, Cry Darlin’
- 04/02 Mill Valley, CA @ Sweetwater Music Hall
- 04/25 New York, NY @ Berlin NYC
HCTF review of Swan Feathers.