Thursday, October 27, 2011

Emily Henry - 2011 - Demo

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It's comforting to find young musicians who are still willing to rely on nothing more than their voice and the strumming of a guitar to anchor themselves. Emily Henry is just such a musician. 'Demo' is an LP's worth of folk music that is quite accomplished if these songs are indeed just demos. I would hope to see most of them on a future release. Of course this entire thing sinks or swims on her ability to play guitar and sing well enough to hold your interest for thirty minutes. Thankfully the guitar work is solid, and complements the voice work on display without overpowering it. An acoustic guitar can be versatile when used properly. Ms. Henry's vocal delivery is, to me at least, similar to Jewel, back when Jewel was still doing alt-country/folk music. The vocal range is more reigned in than Jewel, having a one-on-one intimate feeling to it that greater vocal gymnastics would have diluted, or simply wasn't the aim. To describe Ms. Henry's voice as pleasant comes off as a negative, but it is a good descriptor; her voice is simply pleasant to listen to. The lyrics are familiar territory for folk rock/singer songwriter; hurt, love, regret, longing, moving on. Hopefully you're not the subject of these lyrics, or the intimacy of the whole thing takes on a slightly darker tone. Even so, for fans of the folk-y side of the singer-songwriter genre, you can do a lot worse than Emily Henry's 'Demo'. I can't wait to hear what she does next.

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