Here's something you should do today: Go over to Bandcamp and check out Anna St. Louis's If Only There Was a River. It's a beautifully understated record that showcases the Kansas City-born singer's rich and lilting voice without interrupting the lyrical simplicity of the songs. Co-produced by Kevin Morby and King Tuff's Kyle Thomas, the record fully realizes the promise she showed on last year's First Songs, a collection of tracks she recorded immediately after moving to Los Angeles. It's the sort of thing you'll think about leaving on in the background before dropping everything 30 seconds in and sitting rapt in front of your speakers.
Before you do that though, watch St. Louis's Noisey Acoustics set, in which she plays the first two songs from the record, "Water" and "Understand," in a quieter corner of LA. What little effects there are on the album—a little reverb in front of snail-paced bass and drums—are replaced by white noise and birdsong. It's clear-eyed, perfectly still music, and you can watch it all below.
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