August 2, 2010 Vienna Teng
Wow, it’s been a while. I got back from 5 weeks singing opera in Italy last week, with a layover in London. On my flight home from London, I sat next to a philosophy professor from UMass Boston. We spent quite a few of our 9 hours on the plane (lots of delays) trading music, and she showed me a bunch of really wonderful singer-songwriters.
The first one who really peaked my interest was a girl named Vienna Teng. I seem to have a predilection for female singer-songwriters. Her voice is beautiful, without the cutesy-ness of Regina Spektor (and all her sound-alikes). Her songs make me want to take a bubble bath with scented candles and let the sound wash over me. At the same time, they make me want to drive with all the windows down on Martha’s Vineyard at the end of summer when the leaves are starting to not be so green anymore.
My plane buddy recommended Teng’s album Inland Territory. It’s a perfectly crafted album about so many things that form a totally coherent whole. There’s “Grandmother Song,” a song from her judgmental grandmother’s point of view sung without any instruments behind her, “No Gringo,” a song about if the racism issues in Arizona were the other way around, and white Americans were the targeted group, and countless other excellent tracks (actually only 12).
My favorite of the moment is called Antebellum. I hope you like it. If you do, support her and get one of her many albums on Amazon, or iTunes, or from her website. She has to pay for grad school somehow. Her grandmother will be very happy.
Vienna Teng – Antebellum