Keren Ann @ City Winery, 6/20/13
Maybe it was the clink and clatter of drink and chatter, but time seemed to stretch last week at City Winery. In residence this summer at the venue, Franco-Israeli chanteuse Keren Ann put on two shows. I had the pleasure of seeing her Tuesday show. She appeared on guitar, vocals, and harmonica in a trio with electric bass and drums.
Ann took to the stage with 2007’s slow burner, “It’s All a Lie,” light still gently pouring in upon the wooden tables from Soho streets. She sang lyrics like, “The lips of time they kiss again” with a smoky reverb and magician-like mastery of silence. Before the band kicked in, the folk singer backed herself up with chords warped like the arid and desolate landscape of an old Western film.
Like the settling of an unknown frontier, the look and feel of each song took on new shapes and meanings as they progressed. With the help of the band (mostly the drummer’s deftly simple fills), the indie-folk-punk singer built the songs up from softly whimsical to boldly rocking several times. As 2011’s 101 taught, for every whimsical quip, Keren Ann has a shot in the heart.