“Wolfboy” – Blair

Instantly engaging (no intro!), with its rumbly, rubbery bass line and off-handed but sure-handed melody; the hook here is in the verse, not the chorus. Blair (no last name!) has one of those breathy voices that still seems not-breathy—we get both air and earth in her tone. How she sings is as much a part of the song’s charm as the song itself.

And yet there are indeed a number of further delightful enhancements on display: the xylophone, for one; the way the song clears out and slows down after the chorus, for another (so few songs stop to breathe like that; it often speaks to the quiet confidence of the songwriter). And then there’s the xylophone-led instrumental break at 0:51, with its almost cinematic sense of anticipation, which lo and behold links us back to the unusually satisfying verse. As it unfolds, in fact, this song delivers a bigger, more spacious, and well-crafted sound than one might initially expect from a quirky, one-named Brooklyn singer/songwriter. Then again, she was born in New Orleans. Don’t underestimate the way music seeps into your veins down there.

“Wolfboy” is from Blair’s debut album, Die Young, which was actually released a year ago, on Autumn Tone Records. I missed it at the time—buzzed right through my inbox. But then again, this song wasn’t available at that point. Blair is heading out on tour this month and is going to end up at SXSW, which is why a new free and legal MP3 has abruptly surfaced (note there are two more free and legal MP3s from the album up on the Autumn Tone site). Thanks again to David at Largehearted Boy (now based in Brooklyn himself) for the lead.