Reviews

from rambles

…Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, Delphia Blize is
unlikely ever to be as famous as Mitchell has been, but that
doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve as much attention — a lot
— as this stunning CD should bring her, or at least would in
a just world. Listening to West River on a number of
occasions until I felt comfortable enough with it to write
about it, I feel the winter chill, physical and psychic, that
we Minnesotans know all too well. Beneath River’s icy
surface, however, lie love, loss, faith and a profound
connectedness with the world. Not to mention the amazing
grace to pull it off without ever sounding self-centered or
mopish or ridiculous.

As a general rule, singer-songwriters, thick as thieves these
days, are not good for my good nature. As another broad
principle, I have limited interest in those for whom
traditional — which is to say actual — folk music is not a
prominent influence. This has nothing to do, of course, with
anything except my own cranky listening preferences. If
Blize is not a “folk singer” in the sense I think of one (the
Beatles are a periodic, albeit muted, reference), she is a
masterly, precise word- and tune-master who creates a
distinctive adult-pop sound out of found materials. Under
the direction of Evan Brubaker, a respected figure in the
Seattle roots scene (the album was recorded in Tacoma), the
production is evocative, thoroughly modern, yet sometimes
skeletally spare. And, in the middle of it all, what a voice; it
contains multitudes. At once ethereal and grounded, cool
and warm, distant and close, always where it needs to be,
and defiantly memorable, it sings inside your head when
you’ve finished listening.

A Christian sensibility infuses several songs, for one
example “Calling,” which also bears a certain melodic
resemblance to something like an old ballad or a
19th-century hymn. With a different set of lyrics, it might
even pass for one or the other. (The same can be said of the
touching title song.) Blize’s faith, however, transcends
brainless Bible-beating, and it speaks to spiritual longings
even we non-believers experience. Other songs explore
relationships of various definitions: friends, lovers, family,
oneself, the cosmos. None of this hasn’t been done before,
but rarely is it done with such aching, piercing perfection.

Full review here.

from common folk music

Rise & Review Shine Monday: Rebecca Pronsky and Delphia Blize
This week I’m featuring a couple of albums that have caught my ear…Minneapolis singer-songwriter, Delphia Blize, has self-released her debut album West River which features contributions from musicians like Jonathan Kingham (Shawn Colvin, David Wilcox), John Munson (Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare), Jacqueline Ultan (Jelloslave) and Darren Jackson (Kid Dakota). Raised in Boston and in a small town in Vermont, Delphia named the album for the West River in Vermont. After going to college in Minnesota, she settled down in Minneapolis where she found her musical niche and won an award for best song in 2009’s Women in Music MN. West River is unrefined yet well-done with down-to-earth songs about love, loss, and faith that are wise, honest, and sometimes sad while its quiet and sparse instrumentation gently surrounds Delphia’s delicate vocals. Its a great debut album from a folk musician with a lot of promise and heart.

Full review here.

from kevin elliot

West River from Delphia Blize was one of my favorite surprises of the past year. It has that nice independent sound that plants a foot in both folk & rock, & I love her voice. I played it over & over.

– Kevin Elliot, host of From The Joshua Tree Inn on 90.1FM, IL

from the celebrity cafe

A folk-genre must-have
Stephanie Trottier

Delphia Blize, a Minneapolis, Minnesota, singer-songwriter, has made an epic album that will pierce the hearts of every listener with the lyrics that leave him or her with a feeling of longing.

Her soft voice and help from musicians like Jonathan Kingham, John Munson, Darren Jackson, and Jacqueline Ultan on this album make it a folk genre must-have.

Her voice is sweet and comforting. This music could bring about the sweetest dreams. “Calling,” the eleventh track on the album, is my favorite. The lyrics are quite beautiful: “Comedown the nearest twisted tree/ And ride on the kindest wind/ Untangle these broken branches in me/ I am not strong enough to let them go.”

Album review: ‘West River’ by Delphia Blize
www.thecelebritycafe.com

Original review

From WMHB

Delphia Blize was a welcome addition to our alternative programming mix on our station – can’t wait for the next release!

from Twin Cities Daily Planet

Delphia Blize’s West River acquits her as a lyricist’s lyricist who can take the everyday occurrences in life and make magic of the mundane. And, actually, when it’s happening to you, things like getting through a holiday, whether to spend the night with a lover, it can feel—though millions of others manage to do the deal with the same thing without the word coming to an end—like something of special consequence is going on.

“Depending on the Light,” for instance, depicts what’s hardly an extraordinary situation. Blize, though, gives it quite interesting immediacy, intoning, “There’s a million different reasons I should not stop by tonight/ Like it’s cold and snowing outside/ And I’ve acted indifferent one too many times/ But oh my love what beautiful night” and “There’s a million different reasons we should get some sleep/ The girl in the mirror’s not as young as she used to be/And she’s still got a young girl’s pride/ But oh my love what a beautiful night.” And Blize goes on with her indecision, you feel her fighting her own passion and, while you’re at it, feel pretty bad for whoever is she has twisting in the wind. By the time it’s done, though, you feel pretty good for them both.

As you might well imagine, when Blize gets dark, things get emotionally dangerous. Like the erie “Strangely Alone” going, “You are cleaning out a teapot from our senseless days/ Before reason interjected her senseless ways/ Before you held yourself back took stock too stake/ When we had it made had it made had it made/ And I have watched you scramble for shore/ Will not stay silent any more, I am waiting for you to turn/I am waiting to be known, I am strangely alone.”

Cutting laser close to the bone, she recreates that confounding emotional truth of falling for someone, painting not a pretty picture, given the scene the kind of depth you can feel, think about and, indeed, marvel at how well this woman knows the heart and mind. In “‘TIl I Burned For You,” writing, “I’ve seen a dark weight/ In the corner of my eye/ A wing with a wave/ Let go of the sky/ And’ve seen the kindness/ Fall from a face/ A clown in his blindness/ Stumble from a stage/ I’ve thrown a stone on the ice/ And watched it fall through/ But I’ve never known falling/ ‘Til I fell for you.”
…Brilliant wordsmith Delphia Blize is worth a listen.