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Plainclothes Tracy

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Plainclothes Tracy is a five-piece indie band from Knoxville, TN. The band consists of Kym Hawkins (vox - guitar) Jonathan Kahler (rhythm guitar) Eric Grass (drums) Brian Kelly (lead guitar) and Blake sensebaugh (bass). The name Plainclothes Tracy comes from the original title of what later became the Dick Tracy comic strip. “To us it was kind of funny,” says Hawkins. “It sounds like a girl who dresses kind of plain, but it’s really a hard-assed detective.” They released their first EP in July of 2010 and a digital release (iTunes/Amazon Mp3) followed in September. The songs on the new CD are heady, ruminative, sometimes with just a hint of folk, mindful of both ’90s indie and so-called adult alternative. Hawkins—whose mother is Karen Hawkins, a New York Times best-selling author of historical romances—is the centerpiece of it all. Her clever wordplay and her performance chops make simple songs indelible. Take the disc’s lead-off track, “Fort Knox Graffiti,” a song about the strange little things you notice when you’re falling in love with someone. Hawkins’ breathy verse falls somewhere between a rap and stream-of-consciousness, with all kinds of been-there-done-that flotsam popping in and out of her run-on verbal flow. Tellingly, Hawkins says she was affected by poets as much as by songwriters, particularly Elizabeth Bishop and A.E. Houseman. “I like people who have a rhythm to their poetry,” she says. “I like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. And I love Ella Fitzgerald.

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