Aoede

 

Aoede, a folk-pop outfit with Lisa Sniderman at the helm, is named after the Greek for "muse." And it's won well-deserved praise from the folk crowd a name like that conjures up. But given her striking and polished voice, it's not difficult to hear the promise in Aoede stealing indie hearts.

Straightforwardness--both lyrically and structurally--may be the only stumbling block on her crossover to indie pop.  A band completely focused on its vocalist and its lyrics has to make a choice. Acknowledge the subtleties of wearing your heart on your sleeve or--if you insist on a clear narrative/message--obscure the topic a bit.

Anything else puts you teetering on the edge of becoming merely derivative- aka a pleasant-but-forgettable opener for someone who's doing it better. Sniderman suffers from a rare disease of the connective tissue for which she says her music is therapy. The talent is undeniably there, but not even the faintest shades of dark you'd expect given that back story.

Aoede's latest album, Skeletons of the Muse features several songs from past releases reworked; her evolution as an artist is almost tangible. She's young and experimenting as a musician, so it's easy to assume better things are ahead for an already fine band.

Listening to "Fairy Tale Love," I almost smell Jenny Lewis just around the corner. That's one direction Aoede could take it. But I'd rather hear her give us a little vocal barb to go with all the melodic hooks. Something less well-packaged. That could be amazing.