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K. Osgood 

click to enlarge 2008, Independent.
  • 2008, Independent.

Here’s yet another artist who is difficult to categorize, as she doesn’t nestle comfortably into some stale pop, rock, or jazz box. Think of settling back on a rainy day with something remotely akin to Fiona Apple or Norah Jones, and you probably have K. Osgood (aka Kathleen Osgood) half figured out. There’s something melancholy and enigmatic about the 12 diverse tracks on Play to Win. These are not cheerful songs; though mostly relationship-oriented, they’re strangely delicate and brooding, cloaked in loneliness, longing, and feelings of entrapment while ultimately retaining a sense of hopefulness. Osgood’s vocals are distinctive and moody, displaying unforgettable nuances that are somewhat haunting.

Each track on the album offers a tight, catchy groove that stays with you long after the last note has faded. Recorded and mixed by coproducer Robert Bard at Skytop Sound in New Paltz, the CD also features first-rate studio players who add vital character to these songs—guitarist John Schrader, drummer Eric Parker, keyboardist Peter Vitalone, and many others (Osgood herself occasionally kicks in on keyboard bass). If you’re on the lookout for a musician with depth and warmth, the engaging and unpredictable Osgood is one to investigate.

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