Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elisa Randazzo's Bruises and Butterflies

Elisa Randazzo is an American musician, songwriter, and clothing designer based in California. Her most recent release, Bruises and Butterfliesemerged out of breaks and sessions recorded when she wasn't working on her clothes line named in tribute to Dusty Springfield. Working with guitarist Aaron Robinsion and inspired by a 2007 meeting of legendary British folk artist, Bridget St. John, Randazzao pieced together the album slowly but surely and created a rustic folk record that brings together traditional British folk songs with California sunshine.

Bruises and Butterflies is a brooding effort that reflects the emotions and feelings that Randazzo experienced over the last four years. From a painful divorce and all that goes with that to being inspired by a family hero (St. John) the album is a reflection of all of this and an artist trying to piece her life back together and find a balance within it. For the most part the record is predominantly acoustic and sounds like traditional folk music, but, Bruises and Butterfliesdoes occasionally ventures into some California country rock territory with pretty decent results. In fact, I think it would be easy to say that Elisa Randazzo hits her mark on those kinds of tracks. "Colors," for example, twangs with the best of them and sounds as if Randazzo's heart is being torn apart lyric by lyric. It's nice stuff that's nearly gut wrenching in a tear jerked kind of way and it's quite touching.

While I'm generally not a fan of this sort of stuff, because I really don't like to be depressed or to wallow around in a quagmire of self-doubt, loathing, or misery, several songs on Bruises and Butterflies were rather nice. The previously mentioned, "Colors," "Wintersong," and "Circles," all show Randazzo to be capable of doing much more than strumming a guitar and whining. My only hope is that she explores that territory further and creates an album that's as dusty and dear as she's hinted she can be. Until then Bruises and Butterflies will serve as a reminder of the potential that Elisa Randazzo possesses.

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