Claudia’s Graces is the solo experimental pop music project of Claudia Hinsdale, a 22 year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Ohio. With a degree in Technology in Music and Related Arts from Ohio’s prestigious Oberlin Conservatory (ranked fifth in the world in Holloywood Reporter’s Top 25 Music Schools). That should give you an idea of the sort of quality we’re looking at here; our collective expectations were high, then, and we’re very pleased to report that ‘Crystals’ certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Light, shimmery, ephemeral, lying somewhere between folk and outright avant-garde, ‘Crystals’ is that rare beast; a track that’s hard to pigeon-hole or to draw easy comparisons for. Hinsdale’s free-form, stream of consciousness lyrics sit over layered, effected strings, keys, and unusual percussion, her vocal delivery sing-song and high register, almost choral at times, early music-like at others, folky and gentle yet with a definite commercial quality too. There’s vague allusions to Amanda Palmer, Tori Amos, or Emilie Autumn, but it’s much more than that – almost spoken word performance art set to a haunting, brittle backdrop, sparkling, glasslike, and…well, yes. Like crystals.
Review by Alex Holmes