Velvet & Lace
Released nearly a year ago in her adopted homeland of Canada and already a chart-topping success in her native Russia, vocalist and pianist Olga Osipova’s debut collection of all-original material is finally getting some deserved stateside attention.
Much as Madeleine Peyroux naturally evokes a hazy, retro vibe haunted by the ghost of Billie Holiday, Osipova spontaneously suggests the luxuriant smolder of Marlene Dietrich. But Osipova does the iconic screen siren one better. Again rivaling Peyroux, she proves herself an excellent songsmith, crafting a dozen consistently fine tunes that extend from the coy playfulness of “Don’t Forget About Love” and arch lustfulness of “Come and See Me Alone” to the bruised longing of “Unavailable,” murky wistfulness of “St. Petersburg” and gentle, romantic swirl of “Wieder und Wieder” (a hit for Osipova in Germany while she was completing a Masters degree in linguistics at the University of Oldenburg and performing with the a cappella group Point 7).
Perhaps a porcelain-skinned newcomer who evokes images of dimly lit Berlin cabarets from a long-faded era may not have the makings of wide appeal. Then again, it hasn’t exactly kept Ute Lemper in obscurity.