Press

 

Bright Light (2011)

“The nature-loving, California country girl named Gwendolyn is best described by one simple word: refreshing. Bright Light… one of the best (and most original) Americana albums of 2011.” –Country Chart

 

“A thoroughly delightful find, Gwendolyn is one of those rare ones that’s singing right to you and hitting all the right chords along the way. –Midwest Record

A perfect showcase for Gwendolyn’s authentic style, a must for any Americana CD collection.  –Folk World

Bright Light topped #16 on the EuroAmericana charts

Gwendolyn’s music is beautiful enough to speak for itself. –Johnny’s Garden

“(Bright Light) is an honest and stunning piece of musical art… –Awaiting the Flood

“Gwendolyn is a ray that shines on you and makes you smile and that can only be a good thing.” –Lonesome Highway Music

“On top of (unusual tones and instruments for texture) is Gwendolyn’s sweet voice. She is the center of attention, and everything comes together beautifully to support her.”–Oliver di place

“Americana, folk and alt.country, fragile and vulnerable, but always exciting & unique with musical boundaries open to experimenting. …a multi-talented singer, who has long been ready for the big stage.”–Country Jukebox

(Durango)… Just one of the most beautiful songs of 2011 so far, if you ask us. And we have already heard so much…”–Ctrl.alt.Country

I suppose this is a fine, fine example of traditional Americana at its finest – listen to all the tracks and you’ll hear acoustic guitars, banjo picking, musical saws and lyrics about whiskey, nostalgia, drinkin’ from mason jar, and murder. But Gwendolyn’s bright bell of a voice is so distinct and delicious I’m hesitant to tattoo any genre onto her. Her voice elevates everything to its own genre – “Gwendicana.”–Waymon Timbsdayle, Roctober Magazine

That Nashville Sound’s Top 100 Songs Of 2011 – #82 Sing This Song – by Gwendolynm–Ken Morton

‘Bright Light’ is a sensitive and sometimes lighthearted pleasant country CD with beautiful songs, a nice sexy voice and guidance. Definitely worth! –Fred Schmale, Real Roots Café

 

Lower Mill Road (2007)

With some idiosyncratic time changes and mannered yet playful vocals Gwendolyn definitely sounds at times like Robin Williamson’s little sister… and a tiny little hint of Nick Drake peeks from behind the curtains.–Paul Kerr, Americana UK

Taking the role of Renaissance balladeer is certainly inviting ridicule given how easy the genre is to satirize, but Gwendolyn manages to pull it off because rather than falling into the stereotypes of the style, she manages to keep delivering the unexpected–Paul Borelli, 91.7 FM KOOP

Lush Celtic settings are well suited to these nine songs about false-hearted lovers, communing with the elements and the cycles of time. –Pasadena Weekly

 

Dew (2003)

CitizenRobot – Interview [PDF]

music central | pick ‘n’ indie band by Sherrie Gulmahamad – GWENDOLYN

http://www.gwendolyn.net/images/press/citizenrobotinterview.pdf

#1 Album of the Year: DEW – Gwendolyn

The Music Never Stops’ Top Ten Albums of 2003 – KPFK

 

LISTEN2THIS What’s Rocking Our World

DEW offers abstract meditations on obsession amid a psychedelic-acoustic cabaret that suggests Sam Phillips borrowing Tom Waits’ bottle-banging percussion. Even when she sings of being swallowed up in some ill-chosen lover’s void, Gwendolyn maintains a sense of wonder about the whole consumptive process. DEW: B+ –Chris Willman, Entertainment Weekly

Homegrown Artist Pick – Amoeba Music

Best New Genre/Uncategorizable Artist of 2003 – LA Weekly Music Awards

The music they make is cheerfully indefinable, strange and whimsical and threaded through with an innocence that inspires. –Los Angeles Times

Gwendolyn has the oddball metaphors and quirky, rolling acoustic guitar melodies that recall Syd Barrett and his Madcap Laughs albums. This gives her songs a unique quality and fills the arrangements with surprise and freshness. She also has a medieval, almost eerie quality to some songs, like the dirge ballad “Lady Strange”. Quirky and engaging, this is a splendiferous album. –Tom Schulte, Outsight, ink 19 hEARD Magazine (4.5 out of 5)

There’s nothing normal about Gwendolyn, and that makes her ever so bewitching. She’s the gilded-tressed beauty of psychedelic folk, a flower child who sounds as if she might skip naked through the forest with psilocybically pinned orbs. Appropriately for an artist whose landscape is the dream world, tempos and chords shift when and where they shouldn’t. It all adds up to exquisite aesthetic escapism. –LA Weekly

This unique Gwendolyn sound works best accompanied by candle-light, a comfy couch, a glass of wine while her ethereal vocals comment on the complicated aspects of reality, existence and everyday life. –Pasadena Weekly

Gwendolyn sounds similar to no one on Earth. –Michael Simmons

 

Ultrasounds (2000)

Gwendolyn: A quaint naturalism resounds through this unknown Cali-kid’s guitar and voice presentation. Her tunes account for equally quaint forebears like Tom Rapp, Judee Sill and other curious charmers who felt restricted by G-C-D chord patterns. –Village Voice, NY

The mono-monikered Gwendolyn is one of LA’s sweet pleasures and secret treasures. She sings in a crisp and warm multi-octaved voice while dressed in ensembles out of a Renaissance Fair being held on Mars. Her utterly hooky, memorable melodies take the quirkiest turns, making one wish that Zappa was alive to hear her – he would have been smitten by her both childlike and demented demeanor. Her album, Ultrasounds (Whispersquish), a difficult thing to categorize, roughly belongs in the open-ended Psychedelic-Folk genre. “Freedom of the Heart (Ooodily, Ooodily)” was featured in last year’s film Chuck and Buck and contains a bubblegumed chorus that will follow you around like a warm kitty. And the avant-garde kazoo break in “Snail Trail” breaks new ground for that petite toy ax. She’ll be accompanied by standup bass, glass harmonica and percussion – and her guitar and endearing smile. –LA Weekly

Magical in both voice and appearance, Gwendolyn plays her acoustic six- string like a magician’s wand. Enchanting listeners with a voice as clear as glass and as soft as a feather pillow, she weaves tales that possess shimmering charm and timelessness. –LA Weekly

Remember the cool girl back in high school, the pretty eccentric who was into lava lamps and Black Sunday, when everyone else was into cheerleading and Top Gun? Well, that girl is all grown up now, plays guitar and sings eccentric ditties that are made weirder by subtle arrangements, and smart writing. Gwendolyn’s bizzaro world Folk Pop employs the melodies of the ’60s but funnels them through off-kilter narratives and oddly frightening scenarios. You may want to stop by at Gwendolyn’s groovy inn, but like Teri Garr’s twisted Beatles shrine in After Hours, you may find it easier to check in than to check back out. –Listen.com

Gwendolyn’s clear, unaffected voice and crisp guitar delivers flying Eskimos, wise owls, insects, trains, the nature of thought, Laurel Canyon, coconuts and kaleidoscopes. Very good indeed. The singer hasn’t bought the lie that you must sound like someone else to have appeal. With a sampling of the radio dial one hears so many vocalists who strain their tongues in an unnatural way or project thought their nasal cavities in order to get the “alternative” sound. No, Gwendolyn’s delivery is free of attitude and borrowed effects. It’s difficult to make comparisons. Among her influences is Robin Williamson (Incredible String Band) and her song writing has a Nick Drake/Tori Amos kind of appeal. We’re not talking about neo-pagan music, but more of a magical-musical-lyrical art form that speaks to many of the craft persuasion. They call it “ecto” on the East Coast, as expressed by the likes of Happy Rhodes, Jane Siberry and others. Now younger vocalists like Gwendolyn are reaching new ground they are each breaking in their own way. The perceptual folk cannot be called a “style” because each artist is unique in the same way that each person has a different natural speaking voice and a mind with a dreamscape that’s all their own. This music may not redefine the universe (what can?), but it does add more definition to it by expressing a clear perception of the inner and outer world. True, it can be heavily poetic and some might even say “artsy,” but by it’s very personal nature it is NOT pretentious. It IS enchanting. –Raven’s Dawn Journal

 

Other

“THE FOLD COMPILATION” (Credit Records). Most small and infamous rock clubs in major cities present the same touring bands. The only identity they tend to have is in the local bands they discover before the acts graduate to college radio and major labels. Thus, the boon of this compilation of alternative-rockers who have performed at the well-booked Fold in Silverlake Lounge in Los Angeles is not in its songs by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Patrick Park and Polyphonic Spree. It’s in allowing the rest of the country to discover quality unsigned SoCal acts like Midnight Movies, Trespassers William, Silversun Pickups, Gwendolyn, and Eleni Mandell. –New York Times

 

Gwendolyn At Tangier w/ Jonathan Richman

Clad in a long blue Little-House-On-The-Prairie ruffled dress and London raver-style black boots, Gwendolyn in person presents a striking and dichotomous persona, at once folksy and then somehow uber-hip. Her band consists of… a broken stand-bass… glass harmonica… percussion out of such varied and untraditional instruments as pots and pans… while Gwendolyn plays guitar as she sings. A rag-tag ensemble, looking as if they fit best in some gypsy encampment in an abandoned train yard somewhere, like a bunch of hobos. A cynic might initially sneer at her sweetness and simplicity, but give them five minutes in her presence… they’ll be won over. Gwendolyn is redefining folk for an all ages, all levels of cool crowd, and her sincerity shines through every unconventional tune she sings.

— Sherrie Gulmahamad