Lyrically profound musical simplicity feistily delivered by North Carolina redhead
As a singer-songwriter with a guitar, Arielle Bryant was always going to have her work cut out trying to stand apart from the crowd. Against the backdrop of the thousands of other acoustic guitar driven solo artists that litter the musical realms of the internet, she does nothing gimmicky or attention grabbing to make herself seem new and exciting. However, through a mixture of her emotionally powerful vocals and her cleverly chosen lyrical subjects, she does just that, standing outlined in bas-relief against her contemporaries. This effect can be seen no clearer than on the opener of Singing to Strangers, a passionate latin sounding song oozing emotion as Arielle spit’s the title’s deeply personal lyric “I am your siren, red haired and violent” throughout the songs bridge. This song is also the best display Arielle’s six-string skills on the demos, which is a shame, because the promise shown through the introduction of the piece, if it carried throughout the demos, would greatly improve the overall feel of Singing to Strangers.
Other moments of musical creativity do shine through on the live track ‘Playing Cards’ and the cleverly used Chord-Discord alternation on the melancholic lament ‘Grow’ written in memory of Miss Bryant’s deceased dog Yuengling who died suddenly last august. I find it sad, however, that my favourite track lyrically, the dextrously worded ‘Ophelia’, which chronicles the break down of relationship comparing it to the tragic madness of Shakespeare’s Ophelia, the would be love of the eponymous Hamlet, is the track that suffers most from the lack of the encapsulating musical backing it deserves.
Throughout the EP there are many excellent examples of Arielle’s unique vocal ability, that sounds in places reminiscent of a young Tori Amos or a stripped down Alanis Morissette and in others of the very up-to-date sound of Florence Welch.
Overall, Singing to Strangers demo is an excellent follow up to 2009’s I Am the Lemon and showcases her vocal and song writing ability well enough to make signing to a label a distinct possibility, which would undoubtedly lead to a very bright future for this young woman. The next few moths are a very important time for her as she seeks to raise the money needed to turn this short sampler into a full length album, so if you like what you hear, support her Kickstarter program! In the mean time, she remains an undiscovered talent with big things ahead of her, so if you can get to a live show (which, judging from youtube, are quite excellent) now is the time to do it.
Here is a link to her Kickstarter program.