A captivating voice, a fiery piano, a gentle acoustic guitar wandering into an expressionist cabaret, melodies, melodies and more melodies, words, emotion and magic: «Grass Is Singing» introduced us to the unique world of Lonely Drifter Karen.
Lonely Drifter Karen was started by Tanja Frinta who, bewitched by the musicals she went to see as a child in the theatres and cinemas of her native Vienna (Austria), started writing her own songs prior to joining an all-girl indie rock band. She moved to Sweden, then to Barcelona (Spain), where she met the other two people who became part of the band: Mallorca-born keyboard player and arranger Marc Meliá Sobrevias and Italian drummer Giorgio Menossi.
Tanja sings, plays the guitar, writes these wonderful melodies and these lyrics full of evocative imagery and incisive twists-and-turns: feet become yo-yos, a mad inventor falls in love with a circus clown, girls turn into elephants, angels sigh while ladies resist ice-cream, a woman and a man get choked and, yes, the grass does sometimes sing...
1. This World Is Crazy
2. The Angels Sigh
3. Passengers Of The Night
4. The Owl Moans Low
7. Professor Dragon
9. Carousel Horses
10. True Desire
12. No True Woman
13. La Hierba Canta
"Tinged with melancholy, it's essentially jubilant, simple and lovely music, achieved without ever overdoing the saccharine levels".
"An album fans of Björk, Joanna Newsom and Jolie Holland will love without reservation... They behave like infants locked in a candy store with a dressing-up box, appropriating French chanson, Weillian cabaret, Waitsian noir, tango, eastern European folk, twisted jazz and Broadway musicals, dashing between them with promiscuous glee as the lyrics yank the songs into places far darker than the jaunty rhythms and melodies suggest, where mad inventors, circus performers and hybrid creatures lurk. The Feist-like The Owl Moans Low and the breakneck, Sondheimesque Climb are two stunners on an album full of standouts".
"A delicious concoction taking in Weimar Republic cabaret, Parisian café music, Mittel-European classical traditions, rustic Italian ballads, gipsy folk and more, all topped by the whimsical, occasionally child-like songwriting of frontwoman Tanja Frinta. «Grass Is Singing» doesn't have a duff track on it".
(The Daily Telegraph)
"The arrangement swing elegantly between lush waltzes, stately woodwind, Weimar mischief and Hawaian ukelele... captivating".
"Lonely Drifter Karen is this band's magical vehicle for a very strange kind of European musical theatre. Here the sounds of German cabaret, gypsy music and Paris cafe swing all tangle with the bright indie pop that Frinta used to make in a girl group, creating a sound-world that's both antique and modern... glued together with Frinta's 1920s jazz-club rasp... plenty of fun to be had at this circus".
"Gorgeously captivating... full of quirky melodies and surrealistic folksy storytelling lyrics loaded with evocative fairytale imagery... A tasty aural confection that's as light as the Alpine air and as deliciously rich as a Viennese Sachertorte, which brings to mind the likes of Dory Previn, The Tiger Lillies, and Felt Mountain-era Goldfrapp".
"Clearly Karen drifts from Vienna to Gothenburg to Barcelona, gypsying through cabaret and twinkly avant-pop. Lonely Drifter Karen draw you in to their magical world primarily and satisfyingly with good music... like Joanna Newsom or Hanne Hukkelberg there is an undeniable and earnest sweetness... This is the most enjoyable aspect of this album, it drifts into itself and then out again. It drifts into familiar territory and then away. And eventually it drifts into your dreams and hangs about there, being nice and reminding you of things you thought you had forgotten".