Review by Matt Mac Haffie
Sometimes a girl singing songs to her guitar can be remarkably effective. Zan Strumfeld claims to be Someone New to the singer-songwriter game. Yet her skill at the craft and mature point-of-view lyrics belie her just over twenty-two years on the planet.
Someone New opens with “Keep on Lovin’ You,” which has become a favorite number in her live sets. “Friday’s Fire” is the best of a very good group of songs, serving as proof of her prowess on guitar. Zan squeezes sparks out of her strings and burns to her very soul with a cracked-note vocal, brooding over a failed relationship and snow. “Carry On” is Zan’s upbeat juggernaut of a song, tempered with guarded optimism, and made genius by the simple yet clever use of the multiple meanings of the word “down.”
Someone New is a sometimes melancholy, always brilliant seven-song EP that marks the breakthrough of a fresh young talent.
Live, she is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Local radio is on-board as well with recent air-play and interviews on WCDB, WVCR, WHRW, and first-in-line WEXT. Someone New was recorded live at CRUMBS Cafe Studio with producer Mike Guzzo. The album’s art by Julie Gundersen and the eco-friendly packaging are as cool as the songs contained within. The CD is available at her live shows, the River Street Beat Shop, Rhino Records and online at BandCamp.com.
Fresh from her CD release party at More Bread & Jam in Cohoes last week, Zan Strumfeld heads into Bogie’s in Albany at 7pm on Friday (March 15). She’ll be sharing the stage with Titanics, Carl Daniels, Phoebe Henry and Olivia Quillio. Tickets are $5 in advance; $8 at the door.