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Street Vernacular

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Album Review

Triangulated somewhere between the Go! Team, April March, and the more recent bands led by U.K. twee queen Amelia Fletcher (Marine Research, Tender Trap), the debut album by Connecticut's Cannonball Jane is every bit as adorable as that description implies. Cannonball Jane, by day an elementary school music teacher named Sharon Jane Hagopian, builds her D.I.Y. songs from rickety drum machine beats, weedy synthesizers, obscure samples, and her own helium-pitched voice. What makes Street Vernacular more than the average slice of cutesy indie electronica is Hagopian's extensive vocal and instrumental training, as well as the lessons of her day job: these songs don't confuse "simple and direct" with "underwritten." Each song is exquisitely arranged, working enjoyable changes on the same basic building blocks and adding perfect touches like the swooping oscillators and heavily reverbed and overdubbed "shoobie-doo-wah" harmonies of "Fine Reminder," turning the song into something akin to Stereolab exploring the Four Freshmen's back catalog, or the flute and handclaps that power "Automatic Knockout." Opening track and first single "Slumber Party" is a pure pop delight right up there with Feist's "1234," but it's only the beginning; many albums in this style get by on enthusiasm and attitude, but Cannonball Jane has the pop smarts to turn Street Vernacular into something truly great.


Born: Ohio

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Cannonball Jane is the nom de four-track for Sharon Jane Hagopian, an elementary school music teacher from suburban Connecticut who spends her off hours perfecting a perky blend of Beck-style sardonic electro hip-hop and the exuberant sugar rush of classic U.K. indie twee pop acts like Talulah Gosh. Born into a musical family in Ohio, Hagopian started taking piano lessons in the fifth grade. Training in flute, voice, and guitar followed, and while completing her music education degree, she began...
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Street Vernacular, Cannonball Jane
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Alternative, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2006

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