Though Tristen Gaspadarek's label debut, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, has been out for almost a year and a half, it didn't cross my radar until May 2012, when she opened for Justin Townes Earle in Philadelphia. Tristen has actually been recording for over a decade, and during that time she seems to have built quite the loyal following. One man yelled "I love you more than my wife!" at the end of her set, much to the chagrin of the woman standing next to him.
It's not hard to see why. Charlatans at the Garden Gate infuses pop hooks into traditional folk, country, and rock, and the result is a joy to hear. Her bright vocals and upbeat folksy rock melodies belie the subject matter, that love can often be a dark and deceptive endeavor.
Tristen has released videos for two of the catchier songs on the album, "Matchstick Murder" and "Baby Drugs," and I can't decide which one is stuck in my head more. Add in world-weary numbers like "Eager for Your Love," "Avalanche," and "Save Raina," and you have an impressive album that, top to bottom, should not be missed.