New and Notable Releases

O’Hara Apartment Hunting
(Apartment Hunting Productions) Rating:

A film score by Mary Margaret O’Hara might not be all that you’d hope for from the studio-shy Toronto vocal stylist supreme. It’s been 14 years since her critically lauded Miss America debut was released, but many will be thrilled to hear any new recording, whatever the context. As it turns out, the limited budget that filmmaker Bill Robertson had for the music for his Apartment Hunting movie — which has O’Hara in the role of street singer Homeless Helen — works to O’Hara’s advantage. With pared-down accompaniment, that gorgeous voice becomes the focus in a stunning single-take performance that’s at once playfully avant and strangely moving, on a par with her brilliant compositions. Please don’t make us wait until 2016 for the follow-up.

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