Artist Spotlight

Review: Kristen Brassel, “Love and Lightning”

No Comments 11 October 2015

Review: Kristen Brassel, “Love and Lightning”

Love and Lightning is a breath of fresh air. This EP from Kristen Brassel captures the fascinating duality of youthful exuberance steeped with classic country. The songs are heartfelt, melodic and full of passion.”

Artist: Kristen Brassel

EP: Love and Lightning

Genre: Country / Pop

RIYL: Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Michelle Branch, Kelly Clarkson

Kristen Brassel Love and Lightning

Budding singer-songwriter Kristen Brassel is an affable, intriguing young talent. The Northern Mississippi native has a beautifully clear vocal tone reminiscent of Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack or Dolly Parton; the ease with which she navigates a melody and interprets lyrics certainly belies her age. But what’s most impressive about her new EP, Love and Lightning, is the polished and well-rounded songwriting that forms the base for her lilting voice to adorn.

Modern country often blurs the line with pop music, and this is no exception. However, it’s not a stretch to hear classic singer-songwriters like Parton or Loretta Lynn as inspiration to the type of songs that Brassel writes. They still maintain a nod to lyricism and melody that feels more timeless than trendy, and that’s a fine line for a young writer and performer to walk. Brassel does this with a deft edge by wrapping up her clever lyrics with rhythmic instrumentation and again, a staggeringly good vocal range. She makes it sound very easy, but in fact her voice is a rarity.

Each track is solid and radio-ready; there is no such thing as a misstep in any direction. And while the production is definitely noteworthy, the content of the songwriting is what makes them so compelling. These songs just work, either stripped-down or enhanced with a fantastic backing band as they are on this record. The title track is catchy, possibly only eclipsed by “Turn It Up,” an energetic sing-along that will have you pressing repeat. The mood switches with “Softly With Sin,” showing off a more climactic arrangement and a vulnerable quality that places the focus squarely on Brassel’s dynamic vocals. Another highlight is the sparser “How I’ll Remember You,” featuring a delicate vocal and simple guitar that does the song all kinds of justice.

Love and Lightning is a breath of fresh air. This EP from Kristen Brassel captures the fascinating duality of youthful exuberance steeped with classic country. The songs are heartfelt, melodic and full of passion. That’s not surprising given her youthful energy and Southern charm; but what is surprising is her seasoned vocal interpretation and performance. Love and Lightning is ready for a much larger audience; it’s pure, playful and full of personality. Keep your eye (and ears) open for Kristen Brassel.


 
Kristen Brassel website: http://www.kristenbrassel.com/

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