Manhattan-based songwriter Talia Billig just dropped her Kickstarter-funded debut, The Ripple Effect, a piano-driven travel diary parked on a gracefully understated backing band. Talia’s alto, right about where bookish meets sultry, leads along conversational song structures that eschew the formal, while dry production and knotty chord choices lend it a small-club jazz feel. It offers a bold contrast to the space cadet maximalism that still fascinates her NY contemporaries. Seekers of a charming night out, take note: She’ll appear for a hometown gig at the cozy Rockwood Music Hall on Dec. 14.

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