Edith Frost's name has sometimes seemed all too appropriate. The alt-country-ish singer, who makes her home in Chicago creates beautiful songs quite often at a removed distance, with only fleeting moments of visceral emotional engagement.
On record, Frost has been a spare minimalist looking to add just the right accent. Her 1997 debut, Calling Over Time, showcased her cool, clear, dulcet-voiced take on Americana shaded with minor-key melodies. Its follow-up, Telescopic, was an atmospheric affair that displayed a bleary-eyed, introverted psychedelia drenched in reverb; 2001's Wonder Wonder placed Frost in the middle ground between those two aesthetics. On Demos, a recent set of songs available as a free download at comfortstand.com, Frost strips the material further and delivers her best music to date.
There are acoustic guitars, gentle keyboards, and ambient noises on Demos, but the songs are all really about Frost's unadorned voice. This casual approach could be little more than a lax fans-only assemblage of outtakes, but instead Demos provides an emotional connection between Frost and the listener that her more polished work doesn't. Here her strengths are magnified: the subtle power of her voice and the hypnotic pull it creates within her songs.