When my friend D Grant Smith graciously invited me to review some music for The Appetizer Radio Show, I welcomed the opportunity to not only hear lots of great fresh indie music, but also to bring my experience as a longtime folk-Americana singer-songwriter to a format that showcases and encourages all genres of independent musicians.
My first review assignment, Emily Kate Boyd’s In the Woods, will delight lovers of Americana with its grass-roots earthiness and light-and-shadow interplay of moods. Beginning with a flirty flash of brash sunshine, “3 Piece Band” is a sassy, somewhat jazzy, and cryptically irreverent romp across a musical meadow.
“Sleeping Beauty” then takes a dream-like turn into the edge of twilight, offering sparse but clear images brushed onto her musical canvas with mandolin and violin. “Dust and Delirium” is straight-up folk, with minor chords prevailing like storm clouds over a dark forest and featuring a hauntingly classic Spanish-style guitar lead.
All through “In the Woods,” Boyd’s soft, textured, and slightly husky vocals set the mood, with occasional layered harmonies enhancing the folksy feel of Americana. And although I could not always understand the words (a pet peeve of mine with almost all musical genres), I was able to get enough glimpses of lyrical symbolism to know that further listening to these three well-crafted and clever songs would reveal layers of meaning not readily perceived with a casual hearing or two. For me, that’s what makes good music great and brings me back to listen. So take a walk In The Woods. You’ll want to stroll them again and again.