"...Her voice is somewhere between Jewel and Dido and the lyrics are reminiscent of artists as such as Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. The most touching aspect of this album, however, is its honesty..."
Conscious Living Health and Lifestyle Magazine, Australia, Issue 69, page 74.
Pippa was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up somewhere between there, Australia and Zimbabwe. With a history of rather flamboyant relatives, some musical, others theatrical and still others simply flamboyant for the sake of it, no-one was particularly suprised when she up and moved to New York at the age of 20 for...you guessed it...love. Three years later, in 2002, she returned to Australia with a single suitcase, a guitar, a pocketful of stories and a book entitled "Another Cowboy Broke My Heart" (or something similar), given to her by the most recent self-proclaimed "Cowboy".
Print of My Hand is her debut album and many of the songs found on it are rooted in her New York experiences - "Raymond Says" being the most apparent of these.
She is currently based in Fremantle, Western Australia where she performs regularly at local venues.
"VH1.com calls Jewel a "contemporary folkie." How many times must I remind the world that Jewel is now in the business of pretty pink Schick razor commercials?
This week, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a true contemporary folkie, and the anatomy of her songwriting.
Twenty-five year-old Australian Pippa Drysdale, the descendent of a London Shakespearean actor, a "crazy Irish comedian," two painters and three musicians, picked up music five years ago.
In true gypsy fashion, she moved to New York City and learned to play guitar after a lifetime of stints of living all over the world - from Melbourne, Australia to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
"It has instilled in me a real need to travel, to see things, to learn about different people. I haven't always played music; I actually came to it quite late," she said.
In 2004, Drysdale released her debut Print of My Hand. The disc uncannily resembles Jewel's first release, full of catchy guitar, piano, one song with an almost-techno feel and most importantly, honest, heartfelt, poetic lyrics.
If you were a Jewel fan back in the day, go to CDBaby.com right now and find this CD. Don't be mistaken though, Pippa is no Jewel knockoff. On the contrary, I think she is what Jewel probably wished she still was: authentic.
The true "jewel" of this release is the first song Drysdale ever wrote, "Calamine Lotion Boy."
Drysdale explained the story behind this truly original song in an e-mail from Down Under:
"This is the first song I ever actually finished. I wrote it about two months after moving back to Australia - I was completely heartbroken over a guy I'd left behind in New York," she said.
"I used to go to the same bar every night to write and people-watch and the guy 'Calamine Lotion Boy' is written about was always there too."
"I guess the song is about finding solace in a relationship that you kind of know deep down is temporary, but that doesn't detract from its importance," she said.
Everyone needs to hear this song. It's so refreshing to hear a song tell a story again.
The CD's low points are "Karma is a Currency" and "Rover Clementine," but even these songs exhibit Drysdale's amazing, yet simple songwriting ability -- an endangered art, except among the purest of "contemporary folkies."
Drysdale got her method from a book called "The Artist's Way," she explained. She writes at least three pages of unedited, diary-like, stream-of-conscious thought every day.
"These help me to get my mind straight, figure out what's bothering me, moan, whine, etc., so I can get on with writing," she said.
"I keep a notepad with me all the time in case I think of something and need to jot it down," she said. "There's nothing worse than forgetting something you really wanted to use."
"But really, in all honesty, half the time I feel as though the songs write themselves. I sit down with my guitar and something comes out and I follow it."
"Some of them just come out in one long stream in a matter of half an hour. In the end I just try to be as honest as possible," she said.
Drysdale's favorite musicians include Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams, Suzanne Vega, Jewel and Joni Mitchell.
These influences shine through on Drysdale's other songs, including "Raymond Says," "Plastic Flowers" and "First Hand Soul."
Drysdale said she has already written most of the material for a second album, which she plans to record in May for an early 2006 release.
"I'm planning on keeping the next one completely organic, as I'm aiming at playing festivals from mid-next year onwards," she said.
If you're still searching for true female folk songwriters who aren't afraid to keep it sweet and simple, look into Pippa Drysdale. She's also got a Web site www.pippadrysdale.com.
Then, once you're a fan for life, look for her to pop up at a U.S. festival in the coming years."
Arts and Entertainment section, The Daily Athenaeum (31/03/05) - www.da.wvu.edu
Check out the artist's website:
1. I Still Wanna Fly
2. Raymond Says
3. Buddha's Tears
4. Moments From Goodbye
5. Plastic Flowers
6. Karma is a Currency
7. Calamine Lotion Boy
8. Now You Know Me
9. First Hand Soul
10. Rover Clementine