REVIEW: Alison May – ‘Earnest Keep’
With a heavenly majestic voice, Alison May produces a magical ride through the skillful creation of her debut album Earnest Keep. As a singer/songwriter folk rock artist, May not only astonishes with a burning passion heard in her voice, but also impresses as she plays all the instruments featured in her album. She even helped in co-producing the album under the Colorado based Indie record label Misery Loves Company. Specifically, May’s guitar playing creates a beautiful counterpart to her strongest instrument, her voice. The unmatched power in her voice is formed through the authentically raw emotions so vividly heard. You can clearly hear the pain deep within her, which allows her audience to personally relate or empathize with the heartbreaking moments gathered from her family and love life.
While the soft whispering texture of her voice is reminiscent of a lovely mixture between Dido and Tracy Chapman, her musical inspirations are drawn from Nick Drake, Sixto Rodriguez and Duncan Browne. As a Waxahachie Texas native, May attended Berklee College of Music on a scholarship, where she started out as a drum performance major, but eventually switched to songwriting.
May recently excited her growing fan base by going on a six week long Amtrak tour, where she hit major cities such as San Francisco, Reno, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Austin, Tucson, and Los Angeles. While currently residing in Oakland California, she is already writing her second album and plans to head back to Carbondale, Colorado to start recording.
May’s first feature single “A Good Stone,” off her album Earnest Keep, perfectly showcases her serenely colorful vocal range as she creates intricate rhythms and melodies. One of her more upbeat and livelier tunes, “A Good Stone” is a catchy song that paints a story of lost hope as she compares a lover’s heart to “the right size of a good stone.”
“Based on What I Thought I Saw” is a purely simple arrangement embellished with the strumming of a guitar and light sounding percussions. May sings of unrequited love and her yearning to transition a romantic relationship into a friendship.
“Michael’s Song,” a soothingly mellow, yet uplifting tune, in parts, features May as she sings about her struggles in dealing with those around her. She hauntingly reiterates the importance to “prepare yourself, everybody’s gonna change.” She further reminds herself that she has done nothing wrong and emphasizes the necessity to move along. Once again, she delivers a strong message and adds pretty relatable lyrics here.
May’s apparent commitment to the deeply rooted emotions embedded within each and every single one of her songs is praiseworthy. With her profoundly unique musical talent, she pours her heart and soul into a strikingly emotional album. For a copy of her album Earnest Keep click this link: https://itunes.apple.com/album/earnest-keep/id591566212?v0=9989&ign-mpt=uo%3D1
• Michael’s Song (3:05)
• Echo (4:48)
• Behind the Dam (3:39)
• See the Fire (3:55)
• What a Life (4:03)
• Brick (4:48)
• Useless as Growing Old ( 3:33)
• Ellis (4:14)
• Based on What I Thought I Saw (3:22)
• Feathers for Shoulders (3:38)
• Dorian (4:08)
• A Good Stone ( 3:05)