On the Download: The Gabrielle Louise Show's "Mirror the Branches"

September 7 2010, 4:20 PM

Album: Mirror the Branches

Artist: Gabrielle Louise

Label: Self-Released

Hometown: Denver

Where to Find It: gabriellelouise.com

Why We Like It: Gabrielle Louise’s voice is absolutely beautiful. In fact, it seems everything about her is gorgeous. The daughter of gypsy musicians, Louise is a blond-haired, fair-skinned, earthy angel. And her voice is like a breeze through a pasture of wildflowers in a hidden mountain valley.

At times, she channels early Joni Mitchell, especially when she drops from falsetto to the lower end of her range. Through and through she is a folk artist, but from track to track she will draw influences from Celtic, sultry jazz, and country.

Mirror the Branches, her third full-length album, is a collection of songs that showcase both her vocal and expressive voices. "Happy Being Alive" features a subtle organ and acoustic guitar below Louise singing about a desire for community yet solitude; happiness as a choice; and love as inspiration.

Yes, Louise is a genuine peacenik, but her music is not all daisies and sunshine. She also sings about the intrusion of advertising on "Pirates of Mental Space." It's a poignant song and an astute metaphor—but it's also about as political as she gets. Her songs are too intimate for the crudeness of politics.

Louise has built a name for herself around the country with her live performances. Whether playing alone, as part of a duo, or with a full band (she does all three, often also including painters and tango dancers), she is said to carry audiences into contemplative, private spaces. But her recordings also have the potential to bring serenity into whichever space you choose to listen.