Day grew up in St. Louis -- there's a certain Midwestern candidness in her high, tart voice -- but has spent the last nine years in the ultra-competitive indie-pop environs of L.A. Something of the city's jaded, energetic derangement seeps through her sound and signifiers. Opener "Kingpin" surveys a rotting town "filling up with too much decadence"; "Thirsty" turns late-night, bo-hoboing into an exercise in soul death; while "Catfight" exacts a surprisingly poisonous revenge on a fool. Yeah, her songs have edginess in spades. The record's center, though, feels like the open-souled reverie "Finger-Painted Smile," a cello, violin and guitar ballad which somehow recaptures and restores all the colors lost, all the hope drained when a lover or a friend departs. Day's voice, songwriting, and musical risk-takings show enormous promise; her finest work is surely not far down the road.
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