There is more than a hint of what lies within Little Pink’s debut in its counterpointed title. On Cul-De-Sac Cowgirl, singer-songwriter Mary Grace Battiata and her wild east posse of Washington, D.C., alt-country regulars have fashioned a suburban roots-rock pageant that shines with the scuffed sophistication of Carly Simon fronting the Blood Oranges.
Little Pink is essentially Battiata’s brainchild, conceived after the breakup of her previous band, Star Nash, but Cul-De-Sac Cowgirl represents two slightly differing focal points of Battiata’s vision. The first eight tracks are a collaboration with a majority of the Graverobbers (guitarist Karl Straub, bassist J. Carson Gray and drummer Martin Lynds); the remaining four were done with producer Philip Stevenson and a veritable who’s-who of D.C. roots ringers.
The first section of the disc offers jangly, jittery shimmer as Battiata’s throaty vocals blend ruggedly with the Byrdsian accompaniment. Her work with Stevenson is similar in execution with a more low tech, front porch feel, although “Big Top”, the closing track, attempts to reconcile the album’s Jekyll & Hyde sonics. Even with the distinct break in atmosphere, Little Pink manages to stitch together the pieces admirably.