(30 December 2006) Ilsabe O'Connell's Little Lost Cause (Good Taste Products (USA) B001965, 2006) was one undoubtedly one of the strongest independent releases of 2005 and certainly one of this author's favorites. Ilsabe's soft Americana approach is both a breath of fresh air from the general music market and a gem in the Folk/Americana market. The album has a raw and honest feel to it that immediately beckons you closer and by the time the album ends you feel like you have taken the most wonderful journey.
It was a pleasure to be able to catch up with Ilsabe to find out more about her as well as her music and to introduce her to you. We recently had the chance to talk with Islabe about her new album and more. Read the results of our interview with Islabe completed earlier this year.
Berlin born, Kansas raised Ilsabe O'Connell proves herself to be one of Americana music's brightest stars on her debut release, Little Lost Cause. This album has all the makings of a memorable collection, it has wonderful songwriting, intriguing lyrics, and just enough raw edge that it doesn’t let you forget that Ilsabe is talking about real life. This is a true gem for fans of Folk, Americana, and Singer/Songwriter as O'Connell flawlessly exhibits both respect for tradition and massive amounts of talent.
"Tonight on the Carnival Midway" is a powerhouse of folk as O'Connell delivers an ode to the midway freak show (a theme that is threaded throughout the album from songs to artwork) that is appropriately sad but endearing all the same. "Over Your Head" is another highlight of the album, although more straightforward lyrically, its beautiful guitar work perfectly compliments O'Connell's voice. When her voice harmonizes near the end of the song it just melts you and the solo is perfect.
"Blow Me Away" is a traditional sounding piece complete with old time country reverb that is delivered with so much heart; you’d think it was made during the golden years of the genre. The title track is maybe the oddest of the bunch as far as music goes but when it finds it groove, it perfectly complements the intimate lyrics.
I can't say enough good things about this album. It is certainly one of the best releases I have heard this year, independent or otherwise. Little Lost Cause is beautiful, intriguing, lost, hopeful, and creative all at the same time. Ilsabe O’Connell is an artist that you should be watching if you like any of the aforementioned genres.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia