10:18am

Thu May 12, 2011
Song Of The Day

Eilen Jewell: A One-Woman Girl-Group Salute

In a cabin with no running water or electricity in the mountains of Idaho, Eilen Jewell set her mind to updating the girl-group sound when she wrote "Warning Signs," an irresistible cut from her new album, Queen of the Minor Key. A fan of beehived warblers since childhood, Jewell has the vocal goods to carry off this sort of homage: She's got a sweet and clear voice with a killer instinct lurking beneath the shiny surface. In this particular number, she's blinded by an evil guy's "bad juju" and "weird voodoo" until a black widow spider, a hissing rattlesnake and a winking raven tip her off to the signs she'd missed.

Jason Beek's powerhouse drums set an appropriately '60s-style pop beat, while David Sholl's honking sax serves up a gutsy slice of early R&B. As for the singer's naïve-but-tough persona, it surely owes a debt to groups like The What Four, who had a similar story (and timbre) in the hit "I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy." There may be trouble lurking around the corner in "Warning Signs," but Jewell can handle anything she faces. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.