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Ivana XL
Gold in Greenpoint

Written by Kristina Weise



“Nobody does it half as good as you.”

Ivana XL’s “Nobody Does It Better” can only be described as being so completely beautiful it hurts your heart. Actually, all her songs make your mind wander off to some written, but unsent letter, a journal entry, or some person you used to label, “lover.” What surprises me most about Ivana XL is not her musical talent, which is obvious, but something that artists of today seem to be lacking – lyrical quality.

Gone are the days of Robert Zimmerman, but finding Ivana XL has restored some sort of hope. (And ironically, isn’t that what Bob Dylan wrote about in ‘Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie’?) I stumbled upon Ivana XL a few months ago thanks to the recommendation from my friend Arron. She was playing at Matchless, a quaint and candlelit Greenpoint staple located at the corner of Driggs and Manhattan. So I put aside my current cynicism about our generation’s lack of creativity on the airwaves, accepted my pal’s invite, and jumped on the G.

Picking up her guitar and sitting on a stool upon a simple stage, her voice had tangible electricity that immediately captured the crowd (which is quite a feat for a rowdy Friday fuck-the-work-week crew). And in the mass of tattooed boys, hipster haircuts, and forgotten flannels, Ivana provoked my pulse and took me on a sultry lyrical journey that ended far too quickly and with many unanswered questions. Her music made me want to ask her one hundred things and at the same time made me reminisce upon some personal ghosts who from time-to-time still seem to haunt my own heart.

Ivana’s sound reminds me of Cat Power but with more playful grace and innocence (and she does not have borderline crippling stage fright, which is an added bonus in my book). Ivana XL possesses the potential to put her neighborhood on the musical map.

You can find out for yourself this Friday, January 25th at 8:00 p.m. when she plays at Matchless. The show is free and will completely leave you teetering upon the line of speechlessness and longing.

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