Saturday 16 June 2012

Kyler England – The Spare Key Sessions EP

EP review by Simon Francis Hambrook

This is an uplifting EP from a curious source, for here we have acoustic renditions of the much more polished, dance-beat songs from Kyler England’s latest and rather excellent album ‘Electric Hum’. There should be more acoustic releases like this; sweet and succinct as it is. Kyler England’s background in music may not steer her toward any particularly expansive lyric writing and that is fine, but for a few listeners it is possible this can detract from the appreciation of the music at times. ‘The Spare Key Sessions’ is a reduced and honest EP consisting of mainly guitar, vocals, piano and strings. There is nothing ‘Cornflake Girl’ about it, but it does have a kind of Tori Amos quality to it somehow. Kyler’s voice is one of those dusky and warm voices American female artists often have, and is quite familiar in that regard yet within each song she seems to aspire to a much more individual resonance as well. It is impressive when she does and certainly makes you want to hear more. 

She gives glimpses of a kind which take you out of the straightforward and put you in a much more timeless and sublime place. The five songs on this EP are not the broadest exploration of song writing, there are no departures in style but there is an effective change from sensitivity to attitude and romance to drama - so different tones of mood are present and definitely do find their way into the sentiments of the songs. The 'Spare Key Sessions' EP really shows promise and drive and it is good to hear her explore herself acoustically because she shows here a really very attractive vocal range and makes some of the songs, particularly the single ‘Take These Things To Heart (Acoustic String Mix)’ come alive in new ways, which I'm sure is what she wanted. Lovely EP cover drawing too!

Kyler England's website

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