Review: Tracy Shedd – EP88

Based in Arizona, Tracy Shedd released the highly impressive ‘Cigarettes & Smoke Machines’ at the back-end of 2008. With an equal admiration for grunge and lovelorn ballads, it was a stylistically adventurous album but consistent in its good quality. Next up is a five-track EP based around piano, the place where she began her musical education as a six year-old.

‘City Of Night’ is a spare ballad; its hushed intimacy and hopeful melody proving that sometimes the most simplistic arrangements are the most effective. ‘How Your Eyes Affect Me’ enlists husband James Tritten’s on nagging guitar duty to accompany Shedd, with her voice yearning and pulling at the heartstrings again. ‘Tokyo Rose’ and ‘West Inn Love’ fare less well. They seem to be building up to good songs but then when you grasp at the hook which drives them, they slip away from view as they finish too quickly. This just leaves ‘Husbands & Wives’; by some distance the longest track and without question the most dramatic as well. It builds on a threatening post-rock drone and is sweetened by Shedd’s beautifully clear voice.

Shedd’s new EP may lack the variety of the previous album but the songwriting remains top notch. Furthermore, she has revisited her past with the added benefit the of her maturing years, yet she’s still able to evoke childlike awe in her plaintive tones.

Web Sites:
Tracy Shedd Official Site
Tracy Shedd MySpace

Further Listening:
Suzanne Vega, Gemma Hayes


1 Response to “Review: Tracy Shedd – EP88”

  1. 1 BNTK March 25, 2010 at 1:24 am

    As a songwriter, Tracy Shedd brings audiences her emotional nuance of an “old soul” – delivering, with each song, the grace and power of her amazing vocals and powerful musicality. Her latest release, EP88, is ambitious, unconventional and explores her profound lyrical imagery. She has the ability to offer her long-time fans the wistful, introspective lyrics they have grown accustom to – while bringing a new instrumental from which to channel the “rock” assertiveness she offers in her previous albums. While I agree, that many of her tunes end too soon -I must say, that it is from the desire to want to hear more…I can only bring an analogy to describe this –
    Imagine a firefly…trapped in a mason jar as a nightlight – the firefly is released in the morning…letting her – weak and weary – fly into the daylight and live on to tell of overwhelming success of living through (what most might believe) the most confining times of her life. Many fans relate on many levels to the stories that Tracy Shedd’s lyrics and music undertake. May we all appreciate her for allowing us to feel less than alone and for giving us the ability to persevere – whatever it takes.

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