Try describing the sound of your favorite singers voice. Tricky, huh? Writers often compare singers to other, better-known ones because its easy, and even the best vocalists betray their influences: similar phrasing here, a borrowed inflection there. But Portlander Paula Sinclair thoroughly disarms that critical commonplace, because no other voice I know sounds quite like hers. Its a lived-in, grown-up instrumentdeep and sturdy, with a fine grain to the finish, and long notes sustained into a vibrato that quavers like a hummingbirds wing.
Sinclairs new collection, Steady Girl, matches that vocal clarity to a clear-eyed creative vision; its almost a concept album, portraying a resilient woman steeled by sadness but defiantly guarding her heart.
Paula Sinclair performs at CD World on Tuesday, June 16 at 7pm.