Despite her last name, Anna St. Louis was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up a painter and singing in punk bands, eventually leaving her hometown to attend art school in Philadelphia. After graduating she made the move to Los Angeles where she began teaching herself guitar, writing songs and recording them on her own in her bedroom. First Songs is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time - a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window - Anna on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice. St. Louis wears her influences well - think Patsy Cline singing over John Fahey - but has a style all her own. And while you can take the artist out of the midwest, you can't take the midwest out of the artist - so let this be known; this is Midwestern music ran through a California filter. I believe Anna will have many more releases in her lifetime, but let it all begin here - First Songs.
The sweetness of the harmony and beauty of the tracks made me have to purchase this album. The vocals float like ethereal sprites with compelling warmness yet a certain captivating sadness as well. This is what Americana should sound like... this is what country should sound like... for it's so real and emotionally delivered... yet absolutely gorgeous. theexplodingogre
We live in absurd times, but at least we have Joan Shelley's exquisite music. It always helps. Her voice is a warm hug to the soul. Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg are minor deities, etc.
Favorite track: all of 'em Pete Brown