This week's recommendation is a tad late, but cut me some slack. It was just released Friday, after all.
Friend-of-the-blog (and friend-of-the-blogger) Julie Slonecki is a gifted singer-songwriter who has just released her third self-produced album, Act Tough.
Act Tough has a little something for everyone. Slonecki's influences range from rock, folk, and country to jazz, big band, and even rap. The album features diverse instrumentation and a mix of upbeat and down-tempo tracks that you will find yourself humming long after the songs have ended. What's more, Slonecki's sultry voice, tight harmonies, and ability to record and mix her own albums show that she's more than just a pretty face.
Most of all, Act Tough demonstrates Slonecki's brilliant lyricism. Her words speak to feelings and experiences we all can share. In the album's first track, "Scary Song," she sings of the bitterness of a love that has been lost, not suddenly, but as a result of neglect and mutual apathy. However, in the folksy second track, "Terrible and Great," she reflects on the joy that comes with simply sitting with friends on a porch in western Virginia, finding home with people who make the minutes worthwhile. She sings of the concern that time passes too quickly but also determination not to let life pass her by. And when life gets too hard, she reminds us to act tough and push ahead.
You can buy Act Tough on iTunes and soon on Amazon.com and JulieSlonecki.com. And while you're at it, don't forget to check out Slonecki's first two full-length albums, Borders and Arguments for Love. You can sample a few tracks here.