Say YES to Willis

Daphne Willis
What to Say
Vanguard Records

Daphne Willis

Daphne Willis knows exactly who she is – now it is time for you to find out. By way of introduction; she is a smart and soulful songwriter. Her spunk and sass translate to relevant pop that resonates with confidence and passion for what she is doing.

“What to Say” Willis’ most recent release jumps off with Everybody Else a crackling bit of indoor fireworks that lets you know she is here and paying attention isn’t an option; it is an obligation.

Willis delivers pop with a heavy hand dipped into the pool we know as soul music resulting in multi-layered music worthy of someone far beyond her 23 years on this earth.

On “What to Say” Willis has clearly been paying attention to her elders – but does nothing to impersonate or channel them. She is her own woman and the music is better for it.

Far Away is another chance for her to showcase her songwriting that – at times – alternates between the obligatory internal rhyme schemes often found in better hip hop songs and her signature style which is both charming and accessible.

All I Know continues to feature her unique hybrid songwriter style – while upping the ante with more intricate arrangements that support her clear and confident voice.

This ambitious release includes twelve songs – each songs flashes its own individual vibe – each very clearly and unabashedly he work of a youngster with the talent of her elders.

Stand Out Tracks
Everybody Else
Far Away
What to Say
Still Tryin’

Emily Hurd’s Daytime Fireflies

Emily Hurd
Daytime Fireflies
Self-released
www.emilyhurd.com

The very things that attract us to a potential mate – tend to be the same things that eventually become the most annoying habits or affectations that person possesses.

Emily Hurd is a smart and gifted songwriter who has released a collection of bold and textured songs. Her quirk is a lisp that whistles at times while it is almost completely inaudible on other songs.

I am not – by any means – making fun of Hurd – I am curious why she plays it up on some cuts and downplays it on others. She creates these sweet little moody pieces of music that draw you in either through a rolling melody that tugs at the heartstrings or by visual images that read like Don Robertson vignettes.

There are moments where her dramatic flair delves into the melodramatic – but her lilting voice and the innocence in her delivery forgive any misstep.

The title cut “Daytime Fireflies” combines a vintage show-tune with some later Beatles’ orchestral fidgeting. Lyrically it is filled with irony (literary irony as opposed to the misnomer that Alanis M. sang about a number of years ago) that  makes the listener think – and then smile to themselves as they unravel the idea within the musical context. [Read more…]

Super Jealous!!!

I am thoroughly jealous of Jessica because at this moment she is in Vegas waiting for Chris Cornell to appear on stage. At approximately 8:45 pm she will be in the front rows to shoot pictures of the show. (Those should be available on the blog tomorrow.) As for right now let me count the ways I’m jealous! Could it be his great looks? His amazing talent on instruments? His lyrical abilities? Or better yet, his super sultry voice. Hmmm. Although, all these are great reasons to be jealous I think my favorite has to be that sultry unduplicated voice. Many of us have loved that voice since, Audioslave, and even further back Soundgarden. His abilities as an artist are definitely among THE best. From early beginnings as a boy learning piano, then drums, then guitar, and last but not least singer/songwriter he has proven that he has the staying power to be ranked among the best rock musicians out there. Stay tuned for more from Jessica…….