Music

My Heroine

Edith Frost's Gentle Charm

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Edith Frost
Tues April 16
Blackbird

If you believe a person's music is the truest expression of their soul, then it's obvious that Edith Frost is a sweetheart. What I mean is, I think she's a sweetheart in a '50s heartbreaker way, with a kick to her ladyness. A respectable kind of gal who you wouldn't feel self-conscious about calling a "gal." Edith Frost's newest record, Wonder Wonder, makes her seem like a cowgirl debutante, the heroine in an old Western who breaks hearts with her charm. How can you argue with a lady who sings in the saddest, velvetest croon, "Love is the carpenter/Love is the old engineer/Don't sell yourself out to the fear"? Smart and heartbroken. Knows about the world. A sweetheart.

And, apparently, she's a collector of things; she notices this as she packs for tour. "I have too much crap. I always end up having twice as much as the guys. They always bring one little bag, and I'm like, 'I gotta get my underwear bag! I gotta get my Caboodle with all my make-up in it!' I've collected all this shit I don't need that I take with me, like three different travel-sized toothpastes and two of them dried up, and little mini bottles of Scope, and five million different Chapsticks."

A Texan-born songwriter who now lives in Chicago, Frost plays songs of romance and heartbreak currently in a style congruous with Patsy Cline--simple Western waltzes splashed with piano and drums, with an emphasis on solid melodies and songwriting. She writes the kinds of songs that can make a body melt into the floor (i.e., "Cause you're not the kind of man who'd ever take my love for granted/or run around like your old love did you/and I'm not the kinda girl who'd ever leave you/as long as you're feeling the way that I do"), and her voice is throaty and true, with a muted earnestness.

Frost herself, however, feels like she has to rein it in, sometimes. "A lot of my tunes are whiny--I started realizing that right away. I get sick of myself when it's all this, 'He done me wrong' stuff, you know? I try not to be completely maudlin in my lyrics, where there's at least an 'Oh, well,' kind of attitude, instead of just like, 'Fuck him!'" she laughs.

"I want to write a lot more," she continues. "Right now, I'm at a really slow point--as far as writing, it just comes in spurts. I think when I do write, the songs are better than they were when I first started writing. I just would like to do more and better. I just want to write good songs that'll stick in your head, I guess."

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