Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen occupies a weird space between Lilith Fair and the DIY folk scene. The San Francisco resident is the kind of 24-year-old who can get away with referring to her boyfriend as her "old man." She's equally at home covering Smokey Robinson as using idiosyncratic words like "tally marks" (the five-slash counting mechanism). On her Kill Rock Stars debut, We Brave Bee Stings and All, she most resembles a more indie Rickie Lee Jones, applying slurry vocals to frenetic guitars, brushed drums, and self-flagellating lyrics ("I fan your cigarette smoke, I wipe your mirrors clean/I am the asshole who falls for your routine").

 
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