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Ghostbird


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Audio CD, August 23, 2011
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Amazon's Zee Avi Store

Music

Image of album by Zee Avi

Photos

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Biography

Zee Avi is just 23 but she's an old soul. A huge talent in a petite frame bringing a universal message from the unlikely birthplace of Borneo, an ancient island east of Malaysia which remains an untouched, natural paradise, an apt description of her songs.

How Avi came to record her debut album in L.A., the first joint release from Ian Montone's Monotone Label and Jack ... Read more in Amazon's Zee Avi Store

Visit Amazon's Zee Avi Store
for 3 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Republic
  • ASIN: B0058EGPZ2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,991 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Swell Window
2. Anchor
3. 31 Days
4. Milestone Moon
5. Siboh Kitak Nangis
6. The Book Of Morris Johnson
7. Madness
8. Bag Of Gold
9. Concrete Wall
10. Roll Your Head In The Sun
11. Stay In The Clouds

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2011 sophomore album from the Malaysian singer/songwriter. While critics were comparing her chilled-out, jazzy, ukulele-based songs to Billie Holiday and Cat Power, Zee was wandering from major music festivals (SXSW, Bonnaroo) to huge tours (Lilith Fair) and then all the way back to her homeland of Sarawak, Borneo Island where she picked up an International Youth Icon Award, just four years after the former art student in Kuala Lumpur posted a song on YouTube when the literal overnight success began.

About the Artist

For 25-year-old Malaysian singer/songwriter Zee Avi, "Swell Window" is the gorgeous track that started the journey and also the opening track of her second album, Ghostbird. "It's a song about seizing the moment," she says, "and for me, a new direction and a new voice came and stayed."

In the two years since her self-titled debut was joint-released on Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records and Ian Montone's Monotone Label, Avi's very free spirit has wandered from major music festivals (SXSW, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo) to huge tours (Lilith Fair) back to her homeland of Sarawak, Borneo Island, where she recently picked up an International Youth Icon Award. For a little perspective, just four years ago, Avi was a former art student in Kuala Lumpur who posted a song on YouTube to catch up with a friend and was quite surprised to find herself the toast of the Internet when thousands of strangers discovered her effortlessly stunning voice. Literal overnight success can easily poison young minds, but Avi is no ordinary mind -- while critics were comparing her chilled-out, jazzy, ukulele-based songs to Billie Holiday and Cat Power she was continuing to make visual art and remaining her buoyant, whimsical self. "I'm 25 going on 12 and a half on a good day," she laughs, flipping through a notebook filled with colorful drawings and lengthy notes.

Avi started writing Ghostbird in her Brooklyn kitchen last summer, but followed the wind to the balmy waters of the Florida Everglades where she found endless musings, "with absolute silence and calmness." In March, she took her fresh batch of tunes to Johnson's Solar Powered Plastic Plant studios and got down to business with producer Mario Caldato, Jr., best known for his work with the Beastie Boys and beloved Brazilian artists like Bebel Gilberto. It only took two weeks for them to lay down the 11 tracks on Ghostbird (it means "Burung Hantu" which means owl in Avi's native language), including the closing number on the album, "Stay In The Clouds," a new addition that was written on the last day of recording.

This album lead Avi to new ideas. "Siboh Kitak Nangis" which translates to "Don't You Cry," is the first song in Avi's dialect on an international album and the poppy groove of "The Book of Morris Johnson" is the first time she has written new music to accompany someone else's words. "Morris Johnson" was inspired by a Floridian folk artist whose paintings of animals and accompanying text about their instinctual lives "capture naiveté and innocence and enthusiasm," Avi says. After buying a few of his pieces at an art show, Avi called him up and said, "Morris, I'm ready to be your disciple, I'm ready to turn your words into a song." (Morris was thrilled -- his daughter's a huge fan.)

The track "Anchor" is one of the handful of songs that made the album from Avi's New York writing sessions and also what Zee refers to as a "premonition track," and another NYC track, "Concrete Wall," is a striking a cappella that features contributions from beloved turntable god Cut Chemist. And yes, she is well aware June has 30 days rather than 31 (the song "31 Days" was inspired by a couch-surfing friend who lamented, " 'I was homeless for 31 days in June.' ") Every song has a different mood, every song is a different voice, every song is a different story," Avi explains. But the idea of the Ghostbird unites the album, and Avi has tucked an owl call into a few tracks on the disc, "So it's a little scavenger hunt when you listen to it."

After the album arrives on August 30th, 2011 Avi is itching to get back on tour and show off her live skills. "I want people to feel like they're being hugged," she says of the soothingly beautiful Ghostbird. "I think this is my swell window right now."

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
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See all 21 customer reviews
Her voice is so enchanting.
Karen Davidian
Found Zee Avi while listening to Brushfire Records playlist on Yahoo Music, and had to buy her first album that day!
ophiuroidea
Every song on this album is a gem.
keslerwest

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Dunton on October 31, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Zee Avi's second album "Ghostbird" is sparkling lounge music taken outside to a sunny beach and mixed with a strong helping of contemporary folk sound and a bit of jazz. Light, yet substantive and unique, this album is perfect for a lazy vacation day or a soothing post-work unwind. Melding acoustic, electric, and environmental samples both quirky and romantic, the production glows with healthy life.

Ms. Avi's tender, soulful voice uniquely blends breathy shades of Sally Ellyson (Hem), Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer), and Zooey Deschanel (She & Him). She deftly molds her vocals to the lyrics and style of each track. While each song is upbeat, they each maintain a separate personality and tone. The album is mature without darkness ("Concrete Wall"), a cohesive work that deals with pleasant and unpleasant truths eloquently. Brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
Zee Avi (born Izyan Alirahman) also goes by the name of Koko Kaina so you can get a bit confused (she has a youtube channel with both names.) Her music is classified as "alternative/indie/rock" --and they are great solo songs that she sings along with a simple but beautifully played guitar or ukulele.

Her voice is delightfully mellow, soft and sweet, yet slightly fuzzed with a coloring that takes her deceptively simple sound up a notch. The lyrics of her songs are thoughtful and poetic.

Ghostbirds is as good as her first "Zee Avi that has her hit "Bitter Heart" and I particularly like "Anchor" and "Milestone Moon" on this album. "Stay in the Clouds" was really the only song I didn't particularly like, but your taste may vary. I'm enjoying this album a lot and certainly looking for more songs by this 20-something phenomenon. So good!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lonewolf on December 19, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I first listened to Zee Avi on KCRW and I was instantly hooked. The album is such a relaxing piece of art and was an absolute delight to have during my walks through my neighborhood. A definite recommend if you don't mind getting away from the mainstream.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ophiuroidea on September 16, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Found Zee Avi while listening to Brushfire Records playlist on Yahoo Music, and had to buy her first album that day! Just downloaded Ghostbird and amazed it's only $4.99 - download or buy the 1st Album, too! Sultry old school vocals and great melodies.....you'll play it over and over!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tpolson on November 24, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Ghostbird is the personal narrative of Zee Avi. She both writes and sings with conviction. Highly recommended to those who like the style of Jack Johnson and other Brushfire artists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on October 15, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I love Zee's voice! In her second album, she doesn't disappoint. Her style changes a little, but the same soul is there as songs reflect situations and changes in her life. This album has been repeat at my house since for the last month!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen Davidian on June 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Zee Avi is like a sweet song bird. I was eating in a restaurant in Asheville, NC when I first heard her. I had to get up and ask the waitress who it was. Her voice is so enchanting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ananda Hantha on June 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Zee Avis's sound is unique, a fusion of everything good, everything beautiful and comforting. My favorite is the Malaysian piece "Siboh Kitak Nangis" and though I have no clue what it means, the melody just soothes me and puts me under the shade of a tree by the sea.
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