CD Review – Daphne Lee Martin “Moxie”
An apt way to categorize Moxie, the new album from Daphne Lee Martin, would be to call it “steam punk pop,” for it is equally retro and modern and thoroughly out this world. Artfully produced by Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Production, with her band Raise The Rent, the ten song collection mixes a myriad of sounds organic and electrophonic, including strings, woodwinds, brass, mellotron, raw percussion and bracing electric guitar. All of this clever accompaniment lifts Martin’s loose vocal stylings and cheeky Tin Pan Alley songwriting to high theatrical settings. The waltzing “Whiskey and Sin,” finds Martin channeling Peggy Lee singing in some interstellar speakeasy backed by Jack White, where the fashion of bowler hats and bow ties are mixed with Go Go boots and mini-skirts. The cabaret melodrama “Molotov,” is a cinematic epic all on its own mixing swinging drums with moog and banjo to tell a bawdy lover’s lament. “Faithless Beauty,” is a wonderfully orchestrated Bossa Nova duet of tangled lovers trading barbs, while the infectious reggae groove and melodic hook of “Whispers,” is an album highlight that floats from a Jamaican dance hall all the way to New Orleans when the horns add the soaring St. Louis Blues coda. The chilling macabre of “Cheers, Darlin” would be a suitable soundtrack to the works of Anne Rice. If the SyFy channel ever decides to bring back Firefly, Joss Whedon may have found his new house band in Daphne Lee Martin and Raise The Rent as Moxie exemplifies strength and breadth of there musical talents.
Rick J Bowen