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"A Song From a Lost City: Song of the DAy"

Considering that New Orleans is effectively a college town nine months out of the year, it's somewhat surprising that the wealth of musical options has kept indie rock from fully taking root there. The smattering of bands and clubs who cater to more contemporary alt-rock tastes do enjoy a certain solidarity, butthey've yet to extend their full support to the girl-with-guitar genre — which is why it's such a pleasant surprise to come across a homegrown girl like Blair Gimma, who cut her teeth playing gigs in clubs and coffeehouses around town while still in high school, and who now comes into her own on the promising EP Pluto.

Blair (she performs under her first name only) cites Neil Young as a primary influence, but she owes as much to early Liz Phair, with whom she shares a meandering singing style and a lyrical bluntness that sounds at once suggestive and wounded. But whereas Phair's bravado evokes exasperation, Blair's suggests a more wide-eyed sense of adventure, even as she takes on the subject of how ambivalence can masquerade as indifference on the deceptively upbeat "Mona Lisa": "I was a Mona Lisa, and you made me abstract art / I was juggling with my twenty arms / Some say those are my eyes / and some say they are my tears / and I say nothing at all."

According to Gimma, she came up with the EP's title after scientists decided that Pluto was no longer a planet — an apt metaphor for her hometown post-Katrina. "Something is one way all your life," she writes, "Then all of a sudden, it totally changes." As her songs suggest, sometimes that's neither a good nor a bad thing.



“Something is one way all your life, then all of a sudden it totally changes,” the singer-songwriter Blair says, referring to Pluto’s recent demotion as a planet, as well as what it’s like living in her post–Hurricane Katrina New Orleans hometown. Her new EP, Pluto, combines her folkie roots (she began performing in NOLA coffeehouses at age 16) with more ambitious electric-rock aspirations. She croons her ode to a “Wolfboy” with an ethereal melody as glowing guitar chimes take the song beyond mere folk-rock keening. “Mona Lisa,” a charming midtempo shuffle, is imbued with Blair’s soothing vocals. “Half Moon” is even better, with acoustic-guitar strumming that’s augmented by psychedelic flute tones that float over the rooftops like, well, a half moon. Despite the former ninth planet’s humiliating reclassification as a mere asteroid (“the celestial equivalent of learning that Santa Claus doesn’t exist”), the arrival of Pluto (the CD) is a welcome consolation prize. (Falling James - L.A. Weekly


"Young, driven, and filled with Southern goodness, Blair's alt-country cuts are packed with the same sorrow and hope as indie-folk brethren like Bright Eyes and Cat Power" - FlavorPill


"...reminds me of when Liz Phair was still good." - Aquarium Drunkard

"CD Review"

While Blair's new EP clocks in at a mere 13 and a half minutes, it's long enough to establish the New Orleans-based singer-songwriter as an immensely talented new voice in underground music. The four tracks on Pluto are country-tinged indie pop gems with complex instrumental arrangements that range from poppy to rootsy. Blair's high, breathy vocals and instantly memorable melodies are an absolute pleasure to listen to. She has an unassuming musical presence and a modest charm that never flaunts her talent and wit, instead allowing the listener to happily stumble upon them. Fans of Rilo Kiley who are on the lookout for the next queen of sparkling Americana pop need look no further.

- The Owl Mag

"Orange Skies and Purple Flowers"

Blair is a singer/songwriter from New Orleans, LA and her music is self-described as "Dolly Parton meets Radiohead meets Neil Young meets uptown New Orleans." I'm not so sure about the Radiohead, but her soon-to-be-released EP Pluto is filled with soothing country-tinged indie-folk-pop tunes. She may be singing about the effects of Hurricane Katrina and how it ravaged New Orleans, but (for me at least) the songs are calming.

Her beautiful voice and quiet acoustic guitar are charming in a way that will make you forget everything that ails you. There is (however) an underlying vulnerability that makes the music even more captivating. Maybe that's why I've been listening to these songs all day.
- Can You See the Sun Set from the Southside

"Mona Lisa"

Singing with a lovelorn, Judy Collins-esque voice, Blair compares herself to the Mona Lisa -- smiling or frowning, portrait or "abstract art?" The lyrical wit contrasts sharply with the sadness of her singing and the resigned guitar strums. It's a beautiful song and an auspicious start for a songwriter who has nowhere to go but up - The Rawking Refuses to Stop


released 2007: Pluto EP
tracks on college airplay:
mona lisa



Blair has been a staple of the New Orleans’ music scene for the last seven years. She began performing at local coffee houses and open mic nights when she was only 16. By 18, Blair found herself performing at some of her hometown’s most venerable rock clubs such as the Howlin Wolf and House of Blues. Opting to wait until after college to make music her full-time occupation, Blair would sneak away between classes as a philosophy major at Loyola University New Orleans to the university's music building to hone her skills at writing and performing. She was also able to open up for some of the country’s most popular indie bands stopping through New Orleans, such as Cat Power, Calexico, and Bright Eyes. With summer of 2007 approaching, Blair has established a dedicated local fan base, finished her philosophical studies, and has a four-song EP: Pluto.
A marriage of alt-country and folk-tinged pop music - combined with a captivating falsetto voice - Pluto aims to create the same kind of intimacy between listener that she recalls from her first experiences listening to rock and pop radio.