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UCSC alum’s third CD offers haunting ‘optimistic melancholy’

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Rolling Stone magazine has described Emily Jane White’s songs as “melancholy as a rainbow glimpsed through the bars of a prison window.”

Her music sounds like a seamless and creative blend of traditional British folk, The Cranberries, and classical, with an occasional touch reminiscent of the drums and pedal steel of Neil Young’s acoustic band from the Harvest era.

“I’d best describe my last two records as Gothic chamber folk with some spooky Americana roots influence, I guess,” says White, who graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2003 with a degree in American Studies. “It’s so hard to describe music.”

Her third CD, titled Ode to Sentience, was just released in July on Antenna Farm Records. White said she chose the title due to the album’s intensely personal and moody atmosphere, and “out of appreciation for the human ability and capacity to feel.”

White noted that her experience as a student at UC Santa Cruz had a big effect on her musical career.

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