music review: Sarah Dooley

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Growing up in Indiana Sarah Dooley learned to play piano and violin but it wasn’t until she heard Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine that this young singer/songwriter decided to create songs on her own. She studied playwriting at Barnard College and after graduation wrote and recorded Stupid Things. She’s a folky Lily Allen mingled with a bubbly Tori Amos–fabulous piano-folkpop that’s both funny and observant. Sophisticated childlike modernism. On the title track “Stupid Things,” Dooly sings: “my major’s undeclared, my resume’s unprepared.” She turns a bit more introspective on the lovely, darker yet catchy “Peonies.” Dooley possesses a gorgeous voice with the impressive ability to express a range of emotions. Lilting vocals provide the emotive core for “Willow Tree” Then on the song “Teenage Elegance” she’s edgy and irreverent. For those 80s lovers she’s got a song called “Watching Goonies at My House,” [“You like me. it’s a good me. I like you when you like me. It’s a good movie. Goonies is a fantastic movie.”] a precious piece of nostalgia. Her unique, elaborate piano arrangements combined with diverse vocal stylings makes Dooley an artist to watch.

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