"Fever" - Trentalange
More minor-key moodiness, but quite the different aura this time; with twiddling synths, a noir-ish surf guitar line, and an ominous dance beat, "Fever" sounds like the soundtrack to a spy movie starring the Bee Gees, with Annie Lennox singing lead. Okay not exactly, but that'll get your mind working in the right direction.
Trentalange is Barbara Trentalange, former lead singer for the Seattle-based quintet Spyglass, and last heard around these parts in August 2006, when her first solo CD was released. Beyond the immediately successful mood established here, "Fever" works particularly well because the chorus delivers a payoff on the verse's setup. Although nothing wildly different is happening in the chorus--the general mood and tempo remain the same--two particular attributes win me over. First, the vocals open up. While Trentalange sings with a smoky (and doubletracked, and maybe phased?) restraint in the verse, she gives herself more emotive freedom in the chorus, singing without obvious effects, and layering on the harmonies with just the right amount of drama (be sure to check out those Lennox-like howls she hides in the background). The other winning point in the chorus: the unresolved melody line at the end. And okay I'm kind of a sucker for unresolved melody lines, but even more so when they come in an unexpected context such as this upbeat, loungey rave-up (the song in fact seems to be taking place on a dance floor). That we are then led into a particularly noodly synthesizer line makes it sound like she's winking at us, telling us that things after all aren't exactly what they seem.
"Fever" is the lead track on the forthcoming Trentalange album, Awakening, Level One, scheduled for release next month on Coco Tauro Records, which appears to be her own label.