Best Female Vocalist - 2009
The songs on Aby Wolf's debut album, Sweet Prudence, only hint at the magnitude of this virtuoso's singing talent. Looping her voice on top of itself, Wolf accompanies her mid-range melodies with soaring, nimble, high-register wails and pretty, choir-girl arpeggios, creating sublime choral harmonies. In concert, Wolf pushes herself even further by creating live, looped a cappella songs that build higher and higher until she seems to be singing down from the heavens. That she could just as easily be awarded the "Best Songwriter" category doesn't hurt, either. Wolf has emerged in the past year as a groundbreaking artist who mixes folk with strains of hip hop, pop, and R&B to create an intoxicating cocktail of sounds, and she tops it off with poetic and insightful lyrics that would make Ani DiFranco proud. But it's her breathtaking talent as a vocalist that deserves to be spotlighted most, and it's why we think she has a long career ahead of her regardless of what genre she decides to dip her toes into next.