I dreamed last night that I was on a blind date with Colleen, nom de plume for the lady who in waking time is Cécile Schott. Now, my turn-offs are generally unicorns, fairies, and the women who love them (and I’m definitely not into them nuzzling, as they do on the cover of her CD, The Golden Morning Breaks), but this time, it felt different.
With her, it was like Groundhog Day on Another Green World: loopy, wistful, recurring. As I sat across from her in a Parisian café, she recited some John Dowland lute tunes for me, her mouth ne’er parting. Intuited not intoned, leaving her shape barely discernable amid such vagaries, she still came across, as if beamed in from some faraway beach (like, in Java).
Colleen’s tuba, harmonium, glockenspiel, cello—her je ne sais quoi—gently bob on “The Happy Sea,” and all these elements slowly spin and thicken, but never to where being oblique is the stratagem. As if splitting a milk shake instead, or a Dreamsicle, Colleen takes a straw to the frothy head when the instrumental drones are at their creamiest. She skims “Bubbles Which on the Water Swim,” slowly drawing the rich sounds upwards wordlessly, her lips in a puckered kiss.
Colleen plays Joe’s Pub August 9.