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Dana & Karen Kletter


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk and folk/rock, with aspects of traditional music

Status:

Dear Enemy (1998) is their only release as a duo thus far.

See also:

Dana Kletter's MySpace page

Dana Kletter's bandcamp site

Dana Kletter's CD Baby site

Perfect Sound Forever's page for Dana & Karen Kletter

The Ectophiles' Guide entries for blackgirls and Dish

Comparisons:

At times they remind me so much of our own Peccadillo, who were described perfectly as "chamber pop." This one is perhaps darker and more ambitious than Peccadillo's tunes, but that "chamber" feeling is there. (afries@zip.com.au)

Those searching for a shorthand way to classify the sound may think of this as the great collaboration that never happened between Nina Simone and Damon & Naomi. (tugboat@channel1.com)

Strange individual harmonies almost-but-not-quite Roches or McGarrigle-like. (Neile)

Covers/own material:

Own

Comments:

Musically, this draws from arty folk, Transylvanian folk song, show tunes, and indie pop, but its whole is far more than the sum of those parts. (tugboat@channel1.com)

Comments about live performance:

They are really good live. The instrumentation is piano (dana and karen taking turns playing, and sometimes both playing the same piano at the same time), guitar, and someone alternating between bass and percussion. Last Friday, Sara Bell from Dish sat in on banjo and guitar. They don't do a lot of "stage patter", but they really put a lot of feeling into the songs that they sing. (hrussell@bellsouth.net)

Dana and Karen's set wasn't quite what I'd expected after reading comments. Unlike the previous report that they didn't talk much, they were actually really talkative and funny onstage. In addition to their lovely tunes from Dear Enemy, Dana and Karen premiered some new tunes, including a sad song about Prozac (does this mean that Dana and Karen might be putting together a new album? The mind boggles!). The final tune was a revival of the first track on Procedure by Blackgirls, the one about being dumped and sort of trying to accept but getting frustrated and realising what an idiot the other party was. (tugboat@channel1.com)

Recommended first album:

Dear Enemy

Recordings:

Dear Enemy (1998)

Dear Enemy

Release info:

1998—Hannibal—HNCD 1420

Availability:

Widely available

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of traditional folk, folk-pop, and the lighter side of ecto fare. (eperkins@surfbest.net)

Group members:

Dana Kletter—piano, guitar, vocals
Karen Kletter—piano, vocals

Guest artists:

Greg Humphreys—guitar
Sara Bell—bass, guitar, banjo, mandolin
Susan Voelz—violin
Nadia Lanman—cello
Linda Pitmon—drums, percussion
Aly Khalifa—cello
Gary Hess—lute

Produced by:

Joe Boyd

Comments:

Y'know, I'd forgotten how good this album is. How totally cool...a lovely album...I came *very* close to putting this on my list for '98, and the only reason I didn't was that I didn't listen to it all that much in the second half of the year, and I never really put my finger on why. (burka@jeffrey.net)

It has this classical and uncluttered approach I really enjoy, with their harmonies and acoustic instrumentation of piano and strings. (afries@zip.com.au)

A beautifully realised and deeply felt sonic picture album of twin sisters and their unusual upbringing. "Sister Song" gives me goosebumps...Excellent. (tugboat@channel1.com)

I cannot rave enough about the gorgeously dark piano-driven melodies and harmonies of the twin Kletters—you must run out immediately and buy this album. (hrussell@bellsouth.net)

Sadly this hasn't managed to demand much time in my player, which leads me to suspect that I don't like it as much as Dana Kletter's work with blackgirls. Songs like "Sister Song" are raw, real, and haunting. An individual and intriguing sound and collection of songs. (Neile)


Thanks to Emily Perkins for work on this entry.

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