Kat Edmonson albums are instantly recognizable. If the airy Billie Holiday crackle doesn't give them away, then it's the former Austinite's Thirties jazz leanings. Old Fashioned Gal, the Houston-reared Texan's fourth full-length, spins no different. Written in her Brooklyn apartment one winter while wracked by cold and sick, it follows her original screenplay outline for a musical born of Turner Classic Movies bed rest. That imbues the 11-track album with an MGM-like quality. Hear it in the sweeping "Sparkle and Shine," an orchestra-filled tune about a woman whose class and ambition beat out her indecision and external criticism, and "Old Fashioned Gal," a piano-laced commentary on technology's stranglehold on our lives. In this song, our nameless heroine tells her prospective beau, if "he's tired of being assailed by a barrage of emails," then the two are destined for each other. Like her previous three albums – The Big Picture (2014), Way Down Low (2012), and Take to the Sky (2009) – whimsy and charm saturate every track. Her unique voice and the LP's nod to the Great American Songbook may not be for action-adventure movie hounds, but Old Fashioned Gal again proves Kat Edmonson the modern-day queen of a bygone era. (Kat Edmonson plays ACL Live at the Moody Theater on Saturday, May 19.)
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