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Sound Check

Patresa Hartman/ Karen O

9/3/2014

Patresa HartmanPatresa Hartman

“The Only Way Down”

Independent

Patresa Hartman has been a breath of fresh air in the Des Moines musical landscape. Someone who’s so humble and dismissive of her own talents would ordinarily make one weary and on the lookout for signs of disingenuousness. But Hartman is as earnest as the day is long, and that’s the trait that shines through the strongest in her singing. Whether she’s singing about relationships, aging or the longing for a simpler time, Hartman believes every iota of what she’s selling you, and that makes you believe it, too. Sonically, the album is as beautiful as it is simple. It’s just a woman and her guitar, over and over again, and you never want it to stop. Hartman’s a clever writer, an honest story teller and a beautiful singer. This is an album that begs to be played.

“The Only Way Down” can be purchased at www.patresahartman.com. CV

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Karen OKaren O

“Crush Songs”

Cult

There’s something magically ethereal about having a crush. Crushes occupy that magic, electric space between love and lust, and they rarely last as long as they should. Once they’re over, you might remember some of them fondly, but just as often, you’re left wondering what the big deal was all about. All of these words can equally be used to describe “Crush Songs”, the first solo offering from Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman Karen O. Overall, the album is about as lo-fi as you can get, which is fine. Karen O’s voice has always been the thing that made the Yeah x3’s so special, so anything that puts even more focus on her is OK by me. But, ultimately, “Crush Songs” feels more like a good idea than a fully realized album. It’s light, gorgeous in some spots, but mostly unsatisfying. Kind of like an actual crush. CV

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