Album: Thao, We Brave Bee Stings and All, (Kill Rock Stars)

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The Independent Culture

Thao Nguyen is a Vietna-mese-American sing-songwriter who grew up in Virginia. An accomplished guitarist and banjo player, Thao can also hum and beatbox simultaneously, and she writes lyrics that totter between childhood innocence and sinister sophistication: "Such a small kid/At the big kid table/And you followed me/Into the forest." 'We Brave Bee Stings and All' is like a Balthus painting set to music: it's unnerving, beautiful and strangely unique. One thing's for sure – this has nothing to do with any other female artist with one name and Thao is not the new Amy Winehouse.