Scene and Heard – CCCLXXXVIII : Harlan  –  Amilia K. Spicer (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

AIJOq5AgLast time Amilia passed our way she was celebrating the joys of the Christmas holiday season in suitably buoyant and bubbly mood. This time out she offers up a gorgeous piece of ethereal country music, a song which seems to drift past your consciousness rather than engage the listener with anything more direct. Harlan is a simple song, gentle lyrics paint poetic reflections and the rhythms of the acoustic guitar are only minimally embellished by additional musical textures.

But like most simple songs it has the ability to be more effective than a more intricate rival. It is wonderfully open, direct and through the nostalgic and reflective lyrical imagery she presents a song that remains both fantastically compelling yet brilliantly vague. The simplicity of the music forces you to focus on Amilia’s vocals, not that you would have missed them, a combination of hushed late night tones and crystal clear delivery, drifting yet poignant.

Understanding what a song needs is a skill in its own right, knowing what to leave out requires an even more astute musical mind. Thankfully Amilia K. Spicer understands the power of understatement and Harlan is the perfect example of musical restraint making for a more compelling song.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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