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New women songwriters for 2020



Last year’s rush of new songwriters continued right to the end of 2019, with new releases from Lily Kershaw, Rebecca Turner and Heazza. L.A. native Kershaw’s Arcadia (Netwerk) begins with an excess of earnestness and orchestration in a Weyes Blood fashion, but quickly turns to a frank, piano-driven delivery that at times resembles a minimalist Lana Del Rey. The imagery of tracks like “Parallel Lives” is worth careful examination.

Chicago’s Heazza (Heather Leonhardt) released a six-song eponymous EP on the Audible Paint label with a rich jazz delivery suggesting a style mashup of Norah Jones and Lady Gaga. While occasionally the songs try too hard, the raw frankness of better tracks like “Hazy Blue” makes this a powerful debut.

Rebecca Turner’s unique delivery might be an acquired taste in timbre a la Victoria Williams, but the exceptional lyrics and arrangements in The New Wrong Way (Rebecca Turner) should win over a new roster of fans. Turner’s two albums in the early 2000s were well accepted, but this is her first album in a decade, and arguably her finest.

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