Holcombe Waller has a voice of such exquisite beauty, it's unsettling. What's he doing singing rock anyhow? Waller's four-octave, androgynous voice should be soaring alongside Caruso or crooning with Clooney (Rosemary, that is). His debut CD, the aptly titled "Extravagant Gesture," mixes pop, rock, jazz, folk and an uncanny vocal prowess that's rich in eloquence and weirdness all at once. The songs are sultry, seductive and breathy and, Waller, obviously not in a hurry, lets them meander along the way. He's constantly compared to Jeff Buckley, but Julia Fordham is much closer.
The 25-year-old classically trained pianist has studied jazz sax, guitar and MIDI instrument programming, along with visual artistry - not surprising as you listen to his songs painting haunting portraits of passion and romance. "Waller renders songs of romantic holocaust with a nakedness that can't be taught," Spin magazine raved.
Sounds like the perfect companion to the dark ambience of the Continental, 212 Franklin St., where Waller performs Saturday. Doors open at 10 p.m. The show, with Jeznick and Grand National, begins at 11 p.m. Admission is $5. Or stop by New World Record, 765 Elmwood Ave., earlier in the day for a free and intimate in-store performance at 6 p.m.