No amount of Westword cover stories, YouTube sensationalism or pole-vaulting to the head of the line can make Two Bedroom Apartment — the third release by Fort Collins wunderkind Danielle Ate the Sandwich — any more listenable. Luckily, the album doesn't rely on those things, nor does it need to. Danielle Anderson has fleshed out her one-woman ukulele-and-guitar project to include more instrumentation, an uncluttered purity and a dose of quirky self-assurance that's as close to a swagger as Anderson will likely ever carry. Swagger, though, isn't what Apartment is all about; veering between tender wit and lush intimacy, Anderson's voice holds a Joanna Newsom kind of chirp, but it never descends into self-indulgence, even as Anderson folds open her songs and plays Scrabble on them with pieces of her heart. From the syrupy twang of the disc's self-titled opener to the last tendril of bittersweet harmony in its closer, "American Dream," Two Bedroom Apartment (celebrated at the Walnut Room on July 9) is a beautiful, wistful, disarmingly charming sliver of indie-folk goodness. And that's something you can't blame on the hype.
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