Monday, 10 November 2014

EP Review - Chrissy Barnacle - To Speak

Glasgow gal Chrissy Barnacle’s new EP is a sweet amalgamation of tenderly plucked guitar with bold, open vocals and lyrics loaded with sassy truth.  The singer-songwriter showcases her range and appeal over the four short songs that make up To Speak.

First track, Fawn Heart,  sets the drama in motion with momentous guitar and smooth violin.  Then fast, honest vocals are like muttered inner thoughts, beautifully overheard.  This seems to me like rather fearless music making, and my suspicions are proved correct with the following tracks.

Nightride  makes me appreciate the joy of simple music – a guitar, a violin, a voice.  It’s bare and fun and fresh.  Barnacle manages to convey her fleeting thoughts and deep feelings seamlessly in this swift and pretty song.

There is a lovely feeling of isolation that pervades the beginning of Alright. Enough.  Barnacle’s quiet voice and lightly played guitar seem to emit a universal loneliness, and leads to a beautiful thought about how we’re all made of stars – a nice lyric to have around when you’re feeling out of touch with the universe.  The fuller sound that accompanies this sentiment is withdrawn by the end of the song, and we are left once again with a hauntingly good solo.

Just in case you hadn’t realised the talent of Barnacle by this point, the final track makes it abundantly clear.  Ghosts and Cigarettes  builds up quietly and with some melancholy to a bigger, more bustling sound than we’ve heard before – closing the EP with just as much pace and anticipation as it started with.

To Speak  is a stunningly concise entrée into Barnacle’s mind and musical style.  I don’t mind being in Chrissy’s clutches, and eagerly wait to be caught up again in whatever’s next for this exciting new artist.

- Maura Keane

Chrissy Barnacle - To Speak  is out now on CD and digital downloand and is available via Chrissy Barnacle's Bandcamp.

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