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anamude - Urban Comfort EP

  by John Clarkson

published: 8 / 8 / 2002

anamude - Urban Comfort EP
Label: self-release
Format: CD


Definite case of less being more on acoustic debut release of new San Francisco based singer-songwriter and wordsmith

Anamude is the moniker of Ana Hortillosa, an aspiring playwright and San Francisco-based Drama graduate, who, taking up the guitar initially as a hobby, began writing songs and performing them in public at the beginning of last year. While she hopes to eventually to work with a band, Hortillosa has until now concentrated on playing and singing solo, and her debut CD , the stripped down six song 'Urban Comfort' EP , finds her accompanied by just two acoustic guitars and briefly on the last track 'Nosedive' an accordion, each of which she performs herself. Hortillosa lists Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and Flannery O' Connor amongst her influences as well as Robert Johnson, John Fahey and the Velvet Underground, and not surprisingly, therefore, her lyrics have a strong theatrical and literary feel. Avant-garde and poetic in tone, her earthy, slightly raw vocals merge together soft, but powerful harmonies with frank sing-speaking, and are the main focus of the EP. Her evocative indie folk guitar playing seems, against the stark backdrop of the recording, at first deceptively simple, but with each new listening proves to be more steadily complex than initial appearances have allowed. About the need to escape, even from oneself, the reflective 'Brokedown' begins with short, staccato pulsatings of guitar, and evolves into a dervish flamenco style waltz. The 'Urban Comfort' trilogy warns near its beginning of "quiet hurricanes", and, fluctuating between chopped, rapid acoustics and a more meandering, lightly fluttering sound, wryly takes this theme of escape further and finds Hortillosa trying to find calm and order in an increasingly chaotic, constantly in motion urban world. "Is this the right time to change my life ?" she reflects at its conclusion. "Or is this just another phase in my mind again ?" Thoughtful, provocative and demanding, the 'Urban Comfort makes its sparseness its principal asset, and, growing in charm and power with each new hearing, is a case in which less definitely is more.

Track Listing:-
1 Excerpt
2 Brokedown
3 Urban Comfort #1
4 Urban Comfort #2
5 Urban Comfort #3
6 Nosedive

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