April 29, 2011

The Tender Fruit :: Flotsam & Krill

The Tender Fruit is the project of North Carolina musician Christy Smith. Around the corners of the interweb, you'll read Smith used to date Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. In fact, as legend goes, she's the girl that broke Vernon's heart, sending him into Wisconsin exile to record his stunning debut, For Emma, Forever Ago. But of course, that's an oversimplification that ignores the gorey details of the relationship, which as fans, we'll never be privy to.

What we have instead is Flotsam & Krill, Smith's stunning debut as The Tender Fruit and her own post-break-up knock-out-of-the-park home run LP. Recorded in various livings rooms in 2007 and 2010 and produced by Phil Cook of Megafaun, Vernon, and Smith herself, the multifaceted record mixes sharp pop hooks with traditional country and folk storytelling and a few grand, jaw-dropping, and stirring moments. As you can hear Smith play drums on Vernon's "Flume," you can hear Vernon's voice here on the title-track, "Flotsam & Krill"—and the song kills. The song commences with a rumble of percussion as Smith lays down her pristine and soulful vocals alongside a clean and lightly picked electric guitar. Halfway through the track though that guitar becomes awash with fuzz, and the contrast between her vocals and the gain-fueled strings produce a truly stunning moment. In the song's coda, Vernon's vocals join the mix, creating another collision of tones equally as momentous. But it's not all grand and emotional. "Get Out of the Car" is another track that's quick to stand out, and in comparison, it's light and feathery as a pillow with its handclaps and sweet harmony-glazed chorus. On Flotsam & Krill, it only takes a listen or two to realize Smith's talent and dynamic ability to carve out a memorable song. Clearly, this is an artist to watch out for.

Preview the songs below and then grab the whole album from Tender Fruit's Bandcamp

1 comment:

  1. She has a beautiful voice! I love the collaboration. The drum solo of her in "Flume" was one of my favorite parts of the album. I look forward for her upcoming music.