Kitty Gordon

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

Kitty Gordon

Weather (India)

The sweet, wistful quality of Nina Singh's voice is Kitty Gordon's most compelling characteristic, closely followed by the Austin band's charm-injected power-pop. Singh and partner Mark Addison used their former band the Borrowers as a springboard to Kitty Gordon's winsome sound, found on the 12 tracks of their first full-length album, Weather. That distinction is important, because the duo's first commercial effort was the well-received Seven, released just before SXSW 1999. The problem was that Kitty Gordon was effectively just Singh and Addison in the studio, albeit with strong encouragement from friends like Will Sexton. Peer support and a conference buzz pushed home the need to develop Kitty Gordon more fully live, so Keith Davis, John Arredondo, and Sheridan Roalson were recruited for stage as well as studio. Weather is not the most even mix of songs; the lyrics often make Singh sound as if she's in the thrall of girlish wonderment and concern, but the album itself is a fully realized effort that allows for such inconsistencies without compromising the band's integrity. Even more noteworthy is the music's vague familiarity, such as the Beatlesque title track or the vocal duet/rap in "Gottagetout," a nifty tack that will also turn ears to "Supergirl," "Tomorrow Never Comes," and the eminently radio-suitable "Nothing." Much of Weather has AAA stamped on it, in fact, and that's not bad either. It means that Singh, Addison, and company have thought through their music and approach to playing -- a lesson more bands could stand to learn. (Friday, March 16, Speakeasy, 9pm)

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