"Zoe Boekbinder opens her mouth, and the voice that comes out is ageless, beautiful, heartbreaking and wise. Zoe looks so young, and so innocent. I think she kidnapped a marvellous singer from long ago Paris, and stole her voice. It's the only explanation." - Neil Gaiman
"Zoe is a real person with human parents, but it's tempting to imagine her springing from the pen of Astrid Lindgren. From a childhood spent vagabonding between the United States and Canada with her family (sporting red galoshes regardless of the weather) to the resourceful use of feedback loops when musical collaborators aren't in town, she has carved out an entirely unique space and sound, and may be Oakland's answer to Bjork. Like the former Sugarcube, Boekbinder is an unusual first listen, but let the sound warm in your headphones and you'll find some perfectly caramelized pop nuggets.
At first listen, Darling Specimens' eclecticism threatens to take over: I kept expecting Tiny Tim to leap out of the closet. But Boekbinder's lyrics are witty, and some of the arrangements are little feats of architecture. The looped vocals, finger-snap percussion, and cash-register dings of "Seven Times" are cushioned and undergirded with keyboards.
Boekbinder's inventive production made me lose my own personal game of "Stop--hey! What's that sound?" again and again. The theremin-like "oohs" and "woos" backing Boekbinder singing about stretching intestines into strings to wrap around "Hollow Bones"? Turns out it was a saw. The oom'pahs and beeps that sounded like synthesizers? A brassy trio of trumpet, trombone, and tuba. Add Boekbinder's triply vibrato vocals and clever lyrical slant, and you've got a mighty rich gumbo to digest.
DON'T LISTEN IN BED - Your action figures will throw a dance party and you'll step on them in the morning. You've been warned."
- Heather Seggel - BITCH Magazine
"When Zoe Boekbinder, on tour supporting her new album Artichoke Perfume, took to the stage the entire evening was transported to a whole new level as if by some sort of magical beanstalk. With songs that exhibited playful storytellings containing twists like the barbs of roses, one couldn't help but catch themselves leaning forward as if trying to catch a better glimpse of the stories unfolding in their mind."
- Jamaal Jackson, Seattle Underground
"Zoe sounds a little like Jolie Holland dancing on Billie Holiday's gramophone player in Tom Waits's New Orleans hotel room."
- Newt Lynn - Read It Here -
Prescott AZ Weekly Paper
"If I hadn't had the chance to meet her in person I would have thought she was years older than she is. She sings with confidence, authority and a wisdom that seems informed by years of regret."
- SepiaChord.com - CD Review
Zoe Boekbinder's voice sounds like its being played off a vinyl record. She plays old time folk and blues with cello, violin, three-part harmony and finger plucked guitar. They have toured all over Europe and North America for the past five years, since the release of her first album. Now with three releases and another on the way, Zoe's current project is a collaboration with songwriters incarcerated at New Folsom Prison, where she has been playing concerts and teaching workshops since 2010. The album will be a benefit for arts in prisons.
Zoe has shared the stage with folks like Ani DiFranco, Amanda Palmer, Jeff Lewis, Kaki King, and Neil Gaiman. She is also known for the five years she spent touring with her sister as cabaret-duo Vermillion Lies.