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"Illinois" has that rarity in modern folk in that it will work for mainstream music fans and for more indie loving purists, the way Iron & Wine does. Listening to the song, it seems like standard singer/songwriter fare, but something just makes it more vital. Tivel has a quality to her voice that just sucks you in and makes you need to pay attention, much like Tori Amos or Cat Power. "Illinois" is about a friend of Tivel moving away for a toxic relationship and imagining her finally leaving and driving home. It's deeply personal songs like this that lead to audience members breaking out in tears during her sets. Tivel will truly be something special.
You can listen to "Illinois" below. Anna Tivel's new album, Small Believer, will be out September 29 on Fluff & Gravy Records. For more on Anna Tivel, check out her website.