Indie folk singer/songwriter Thao Nguyen crafts delicate but memorable songs tinged with country and blues, and her rich voice and thoughtful lyrics draw comparisons to Fiona Apple and Cat Power.
She began writing and playing songs when she was 12; when she was in high school, she worked at her mother's laundromat and played guitar when she wasn't helping customers. She moved on to playing local shows while attending Virginia's College of William & Mary. There, she met bassist Adam Thompson and drummer Willis Thompson, who became the core of her band, the Get Down Stay Down. In 2006, Nguyen released her debut album, Like the Linen, on the Trust Me imprint and played a few Washington, D.C., and New York City dates. She also sent a copy of Like the Linen to Laura Veirs, who liked it so much that she not only had Nguyen open for one of her dates at the Mercury Lounge, but also took her on a European tour and introduced her to Slim Moon, Veirs' former manager and owner of Kill Rock Stars, as well as producer Tucker Martine. Nguyen made her debut on the label by contributing a song to the 2007 compilation The Sound the Hare Heard; the Martine-produced We Brave Bee Stings and All arrived in early 2008. In 2011, Nguyen teamed up with her friend Mirah for the collaborative album Thao & Mirah. An album with the Get Down Stay Down materialized in 2013 in the form of the community-minded We the Common. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi