Boy Wonder: Anthony da Costa

With many apologies and much respect to Abbie Gardner, it is the young Anthony da Costa who propels this album of duets to greatness, despite only leading on half the songs. I considered not telling you da Costa's age because it doesn't make a damn bit of difference once play has been pressed, but the fact that he's only 17 makes it only that much more compelling. His voice easily recalls Damien Rice, Ryan Adams and myriad other folk legends, displaying all the dirt and beaten-down love that should take a lifetime to cultivate. Gardner plays the perfect counterbalance of harmonies and emotion, the Gillian Welch to his Dave Rawlings (roles reversed, of course). These songs thin your skin, make you feel everything around you. You're like a blind wanderer, soaking up the world like chamois, tasting life and love for the very first time. And it's devastating.

On My Knees
Let Me Die in Your Arms
[from Bad Days/Better Nights|buy]


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