Yep Roc Records
TBR: 27th September
Being brought up in a military family, Michaela Anne has called many places home. With no one community that she can identify with, her roots span across many locations including Washington, Michigan, California, and Virginia. She also has an international connection with Italy. This diverse culture and nurture has undoubtedly helped to produce Michaela Anne's remarkable talent. She's so confident in her music that she went all out to put this latest record together. Taking a big risk was the only way to do justice for this fantastic selection of songs she'd written herself. It's been five long years since The New York Times picked up on Michaela's work, rocketing her into the spotlight. “Ease My Mind” was immediately accepted as a vital and honest contribution to the music scene. Since then, Michaela's music has progressed and matured into a multi-dimensional and beautifully designed artistic production. Solidifying the sound with an all-star cast of musicians including Mark Stepro and Daniel Bailey on drums, Brian Whelan on guitar and Kristin Weber on the fiddle, Michaela Anne has left nothing to chance with this proficient and stunningly manicured release.
The album opens with a burst of orchestral warmth before a delicate guitar melody hits the drumbeat. A smooth fiddle melody spans out from the ceiling to make way for Michaela to sing. A country sound in her vocal delivery neatly fits with the entire instrumentation. Layers of music swirl and merge in soaring flights of composition. By Our Design progresses into a fantastic power-ballad style surge through emotional avenues of verse and chorus that seem to merge together with crunchy warm guitar. Next is One Heart. A wail of amplified feedback breaks open the silence as a dual string composition begins the piece. Bottle-necked notes slide along the minor scale while slow and steady chords chug at the atmosphere. Slow and meaningful words pour over, the song talks about reserving judgement for another's state of heart. Again, a rock n roll edge finds its way into the music giving extra energy to the beautiful lyrics.
Next, a surge of pressure pushes forward with voice and rhythm. As the song builds past the premier bars, a feel good and upbeat tune brings out a sunny side to the homely feeling voice of Michaela Anne. A chorus saying that happiness is a choice, even if our house is burning, gives an air of powerful optimism that feels inspiring. I'm Not The Fire reminds us that although it's our life, it's also everyone else's and we have to do our best to encourage each other's better sides. It's followed by Child of the Wind. A chunky distortion muddies up the water bringing a sense of old timey feels to the mix. A heady guitar with the tone turned down gives a strong and far reaching platform for Michaela to bring us down to earth. Fiddle sings over the top in neat motifs while drums tap and clap in persistently lustrous grooves. Acoustic and bow bring on a new vibrancy to the song, sonically charged by the undercurrent of the electric rhythm guitar.
Track five opens with a string melody, guitar and fiddle bush up against each other to make a beautiful shape. Michaela Anne begins, her steady and alluring voice draping across the framework like well tailored garments of sound. Poetic lines speak of feeling blue, feeling unwantable, and at a loss for the certainty of love. Tattered, Torn and Blue (and Crazy) forgives us for sometimes not being on top of the world. Mysterious atmosphere with wind-chimes spans out into the open space left behind. Desert Dove, the title track of the album, licks at the wounds of the previous track. A positive edge in the guitar chord melody drowns all the previous notions. It's a song about life and its many stories, the meanings we learn behind them, and the wisdom we take with us into the following chapters. The subject is a lady of the night and her many mixed feelings that pollute the divine soul within.
Run Away With Me follows. A crash of drums and a neat electric guitar swings us from the whist and faces us in front of the fire. Now a more care-free and dream centred theme captures the imagination as we travel around with the song's pictures. Fantastically catchy chorus lines with stunning emotive backing harmonics sound like we know them already. Met with an artistic ghostly wail of voice in between the verses, another dimension and layer of coherence tops the track. The next song starts with a blues guitar lick. Summery sunshine inspired notes sway like light on gently moving water. Two lovers together share a moment of joyful appreciation for the madness of the night. Let's not give the wrong impression, eh? This is just a dress rehearsal for something else. Two Fools makes light of the fling that could or could not lead to something deeper. Does it matter? As long as there's trust and respect then surely not.
Another folk edged number bursts through the brief pause. Glimmering notes spray against a steady country and western backdrop as the musicians meet in the middle. A blues guitar lick and a relaxed attitude give way to the song. If I Wanted Your Opinion makes it clear that this woman isn't here to be judged by just anyone. Seeing as Alternative Fruit has been asked for our opinion, we're more than happy to provide it. It's a brilliant number to put on when we just need to do what we know is best for us, no-one else. Somebody New starts with a dreamy chord which is overshot by guitars and drums. A soaring melody rises into the air, lifting Michaela Anne into the spotlight. Her voice has a light reverb on it, bringing out a fullness of sound that covers the whole composition in her passionate voice. Echoes of Fleetwood Mac decorate the style, a folk-rock adventure into unknown chapters is described with sensational depth.
The album finishes with Be Easy. It slows down again with a single guitar and voice backed by sounds of the rolling ocean. As the lights fade and the show is almost over, the album gets more intimate and personal with this more minimal score. We get a real feel for the sound of Michaela Anne's delicious voice while the simple music structures the timing and key with that same emotional warmth and closeness delivered by the whole album.
Desert Dove by Michaela Anne is a back to back selection of uniquely crafted and personally moving A side songs. Radio will love this I am sure, and so will all her fans old and new.
Find out more by visiting Michaela Anne online
You can follow Michaela Anne on Facebook
And on Twitter
Music by Michaela Anne can be found on Bandcamp
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Part of the Homunculus Media Group. Written and edited by Rowan Blair Colver. Thanks for reading!
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