Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Winner!

For my inaugural post I thought I’d make a big splash by hijacking the esteemed good name of JesusH to promote a cause neither officially endorsed by the rest of my colleagues here nor authorized by said colleagues. And, while I confess that I have not researched whether they have registered JesusH with the USPTO, I am confident that, if they have, they will certainly be too lazy to enforce the legitimate use of it.

the shiny, coveted JHMABNA
The shiny, coveted JHMABNA

So, without further ado, I am pleased to announce this year’s JesusH Music Award for Best New Artist: Thao Nguyen (not to be confused with the unfortunate but enterprising Thao Nguyen of 101 Ways to Humiliate Public Wankers fame)!

Thao Nguyen (the former, not the latter) released her debut album Like the Linen this summer to critical acclaim. And what a debut! Like the Linen includes the most satisfying synthesis of guitar work and melody I’ve heard in ages. An excellent guitarist herself, Nguyen chose accompanists who serve to lightly embroider her songs with just enough detail to highlight her playing and singing while exercising enough restraint to keep from overwhelming the hearts of the songs. At times poignant but never saccharine, Nguyen’s writing is wholly evocative without being unnecessarily explicit. I’d recommend particular tracks but there is nary a one to which I am indifferent. You’re just gonna have to listen to each and every one.

Included in my copy of the album was a note from Nguyen herself, which just goes to show that she’s a Grade-A Class Act too. Not that any of the runners-up for the JHMABNA lost points for failing to include personal correspondence–no, not at all. But ya gotta admit, it’s a nice touch.

friendly note
friendly note

One last observation (which is, perhaps, irrelevant to the quality of her music but I’m sure is of interest to the JesusH readership): she is totally, totally fine.

brilliant thao
Thao Nguyen: badass, classy
and easy on the eyes to boot!

So go check her out (mp3 downloads available), buy her album, and eagerly await the day when she tours the West Coast.