Thanks to Michael Nelson, who writes
Cottrell’s forthcoming self-titled debut solo album casts her in a whole new light, and puts her in a whole other class of vocalist. Dorthia Cottrell, the album, is spare in structure — all built around an acoustic guitar and that timeless, miraculous voice — but massive in sound. Cottrell makes every breath count; she delivers lilting melodies in plaintive, evocative tones, and finds an unlikely balance of languidness and tension that allows the music to be either deeply relaxing or deeply discomfiting — or both — depending on how you approach it. Dorthia Cottrell is folk music in the traditional sense, and it’s a traditionalist album in much the same way Windhand’s 2013 breakthrough, Soma, was a traditionalist album: It takes old forms and gives them new urgency, new soul. She’s always sounded great, but she’s never sounded better than this.