Pretty Songs LP
Recording at home and self-releasing music no longer implies less-than-pro material, now that the music industry has been wracked with technological bitch-slaps from no-good kids taking advantage of free downloads and file sharing (the high prices of major label releases coming home to roost, perhaps?) to cheap digital studio-grade recording equipment that lets you churn out startlingly good product. Here’s the part, however, where I tell you to skip the free downloads and go buy something. Go buy Megan King’s new, yes, self-recorded and self-released album, Pretty Songs LP.
It sounds fantastic, full of emotive vocals and impassioned acoustic-based tunes. It’s available directly from her website (www.meganking.net) in both digital download and hard-copy formats. King did everything herself here, from the capable, full-sounding audio production to the artwork, and her hard work certainly pays off.
Listen, for instance, to the powerful, yearning “Little Bird,” which balances King’s expressive vocals with insistent acoustic strumming. Or the opener, “Two Hearts Waltz,” a hypnotizing number floating on a delicate, meditative melody. Like many of the tunes on King’s debut, Confidential Reality, “Two Hearts Waltz” contains classic folk elements, but this one adds what could be perceived as Middle Eastern touches to the vocals, to great effect. No shrinking violet, King shows off her more powerful chops during “Enemy You,” which builds up to a coffeehouse-rumbling climax. Drummer? She don’t need no stinking drummer.
King’s voice most often calls to mind a pleasantly intense combination of Sarah McLachlan and Indigo Girls, and her fretwork, vocal harmonies and subtle musical touches throughout the disc are spot-on. The album’s title only hints at the depth and intensity inside these very pretty songs. (D.M. Jones)
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