“One Two Three Four”
Released February 16, 2005
Produced by Kramer
Fourth LP from NYC singer/sonmgwriter Linda Draper. It's the first LP released via Planting Seeds. Following the release of Dakota Suite's "This River Brings Only Poison," it was apparent the label was heading in a more mature direction. This was the perfect release, with the LP showcasing a charming blend of atmosphereic and minimalist folk/pop. Draper's invite to the 2004 Athens Popfest via PSR launched talks of the release in the early part of 2005. What followed was a string of worldwide criticial acclaim, in studio performances on legendary DJ Bobb Fass' WBAI show, appearances on NPR's all songs considered, and a slew of year end of best of lists. Classic.
Indieworkshop.com / April 27, 2005
Being one of those born in the seventies, I distinctly remember and cherish my memories of the wonderful little School House Rock episodes on Saturday morning. Devoid of mass marketing plots, they simply gave us strange characters and amazing songs. One of them, “Figure Eight”, had the most spectral woman’s voice, singing some of the most meditative and chilling lyrics ever. The goose bumps I felt then are nothing compared to the sheer terror and love I am feeling now for New York City singer/songwriter Linda Draper, and her fourth record. Draper’s haunting voice, somewhere between the practiced and polished folk sound of Joni Mitchell and the plaintive and beautiful reverent tones of Karen Peris of the Innocence Mission, destroys me every time I hear it. Add to that her devastatingly real lyrics of loves lost and found, and the sincere observations of a mad, mad world. Linda Draper speaks of the now, with a voice from yesterday. Recorded and produced by the legendary downtown master of clever rock, Kramer, “One Two Three Four” bristles with a creative, fresh sound, but also holds on tightly to a classic sound, that is as easy to listen to as those old folk records on your shelf. Fueled mainly by Draper’s warm voice and her rich acoustic guitar, the songs are decorated with a few choice instruments (including some marimbas and accordions) and a host of amazing effects and reverbs. Kramer’s historical work with bands like Bongwater, Low and Galaxie 500 made him the perfect candidate for adding to Draper’s simple songs, making something greater than the sum of its parts. Playing some larger festivals in 2004, Draper and Kramer will hopefully be making plans for a return tour. It just isn’t fair to the people of this world who haven’t heard her live, especially the ones who remember School House Rock. – Grant Capes
Erasing Clouds / May 9, 2005
Kramer has worked within all sorts of musical contexts, but he's done some of his most impressive production work with musicians who have a taste for quiet atmospheres, like Low, Galaxie 500, and currently Linda Draper. Draper is a more straightforward folk-pop songwriter than those other acts, but, as witnessed on her fourth album One Two Three Four, her songs carry with them a very haunting atmosphere, especially when recorded and presented in such a stark yet delicate way. Production can help present songs from their best angle, but what really makes One Two Three Four so impressive is Draper's talents as a singer and a songwriter. Her music seems simple – a woman singing pretty, gentle songs about love over guitar or piano. But their effect is definitely not simple. Draper has a uniquely affecting singing voice – powerful even when quiet. And her songs contain both particularly fine, atypical melodies and lyrics that probe human endeavors in a bitterly honest way. The perspective is often bleak, but at the same time filled with understanding. There's jilted lovers, criminals and betrayers galore – but they're us, not strangers. It's very human music, but also with an intoxicating sort of presence to it. – dave heaton
Punk Planet – notes from the underground / Issue # 68 / July And August 2005 (Print Magazine)
*Highlighted / Noteworthy Release Linda Draper has an absolutely captivating voice. Although it seldom varies, it has a steady, tender quality that draws you in, pressing your ears to the speaker, to listen carefully to the quiet lyrics she slips into her simple acoustic arrangements. Within the songs, Church bells, waltz-like tempos and gentle drum rolls round out the liquid folk quality. The lyrics, which cover the usual subjects (lost love, death, spirituality) have just enough spice to give them a new twist. Like in “The Broken Muzzle,” when Draper sings of her love’s new interest: “Did you bite off more than you can chew? / Did she bake her cake and puke it too? / Where do you think all that hate came from?” This is an album for solitude and quiet times. – Lisa Weingarth
Lefthip (Canada) / July 2005
This is the first album I've heard from Linda Draper, a New York singer-songwriter, but I'm going to make sure that it won't be the last. The main focus of Draper's music is her beautiful, lazy, whispery voice and classical guitar strums and her wonderful songs. Her voice reminds me of Kath Bloom, singer of that beautiful song “Come Here” heard during the record-listening scene in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunrise. Linda's bio makes mention of time spent in the Renaissance Faire scene and Parasite hints at that with its lovely guitar introduction. Other standout tracks are the opener Super Zero, The Broken Muzzle, Needlessly and Jezebel. The songs are generally have an uplifting, happy tone but there's also a tinge, or undercurrent of sadness that gives the album a richness and mystery. Produced by Kramer, One Two Three Four also benefits a great deal from his tasteful accompaniments - flute, organ, piano and accordion sounds and other delicate flourishes that lift the energy of the album very nicely. For fans of female folk music I can't recommend Linda Draper enough. First rate! - GBI
Sentimentalist / Summer 2005 Vol. 5 Issue # 18
Linda Draper's songs are the best kind of neo-classic folk, sincere without being overly sentimental, unique without trying to hard. She has a gift for creating subtle melodies that linger, conjuring brilliance from the simplest pairings of voice and minimal guitar. Producer Kramer, best known for his work with Low and Galaxie 500, may help give her songs their airy space-folk openness, but with the smallest of studio enhancements. Draper is an artist in the best sense of the word. - Selina S.
American Songwriter / September/October 2005 Vol. 20 Issue #6
Produced by Kramer, who has worked with bands Urge Overkill and Low, One Two Three Four is what great artists sound like when their music is stripped down to its elements. NYC-based Draper uses little more than her warm voice and an acoustic guitar in her arsenal but her songs are irrefutably catchy. The mellow mood of the album is kind of a female version of Nick Drake but with Draper’s alluring melodies, one can easily put aside any fear of being drowned by meancholia. Her lyrics are poignant and clever and even small lines like “Love doesn’t know how to go slow” from “Baby Inchworm” grab you and take hold. Completely exposing her vulnerability and uncertainty about love, One Two three Four succeeds in evry respect.