Autumn – Velvet Sky
2008, Bull Creek Productions
Oklahoma native and current Austin, TX resident Autumn Boukadakis has a rare combination of personality, drive and talent. She is a consummate songwriter and performer, displaying the same sort of quiet grace displayed by folks such as Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan. Autumn writes mostly in the Americana/country vein, but she is the sort of talent who could cross genres with great ease. The former sidekick from the JB And Sandy Morning Show on 94.7 KAMX in Austin, TX has built quite a following within the Lonestar State and is ready to spread her wings on the national scene. Autumn’s second album, Velvet Sky, was released on October 7, 2008 and it is a thing of wonder.
Opening with Rain Down, Autumn sounds like a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Natalie Merchant. Her clear, homey alto is comforting to hear, like listening to an old friend. Autumn portrays a sense of urgent movement throughout Velvet Sky without coming across as forced or volatile. The closest comparison I can offer is watching a horse racing in all of its discipline and grace but sensing the wild beating heart that drives the animal. Autumn has that not-quite-wild but not-yet-tame quality that shines through. She is at the forefront of a new generation of Americana artists who grew up with Americana and are pushing the boundaries of that genre.
Trees is a soulful ballad, reminiscent of Raitt. This is a commercial tune, but really only an appetizer for We Made The Spirits Move, which may be destined to be a classic song. I would expect that We Made The Spirits Move could be licensed for multiple projects in the coming years. It's a retrospective of love and how it came to be, and has significant growth potential both in the country and pop realms. (Let's just say if Shania Twain or Faith Hill or someone of that ilk ever covered this song we'd be talking about the number of months it spent in the top ten, not weeks).
Trains I Never Missed is about the chances we miss and the doors those missed chances open. It's soulful and intelligently written and full of a shaded vibrancy you have to hear to believe. Other highlights include Higher, Velvet Sky, Sunny and Lessons Never Learned.
Autumn is a name to remember. It's her season in more ways than one. Velvet Sky is the second album of her career, and I predict that's of many more to come. Autumn is the sort of artist who may never attain the status of superstar, but I suspect she'll build the sort of core following with time that will keep her exploring her muse for the rest of her life. Velvet Sky is a masterful album that explores the still waters of Autumn's musical vision. And oh those waters run deep.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about Autumn at http://www.autumnonline.com/ or www.myspace.com/autumnonline. You can purchase a copy of Velvet Sky at www.cdbaby.com/cd/autumnsongs2.
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