Serena Ryder | Told You in a Whispered Song EP (Atlantic)

qh_ryder.jpgRyder emphatically answers her male contemporaries with a collection of intensely soulful songs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serena Ryder’s voice naturally quakes with an innate yodel and a definite sense of urgency. The singer-songwriter is determined to carve out a place for herself in a genre invariably dominated by the opposite sex. While her trembling vocals perhaps suggest that place will ultimately be high on a mountaintop in the Alps with Ryder in double braids and clogs, think again.

Her honest, down-to-earth lyrics—often in the minor key—reflect Ryder’s desire to be on ground level, among the perfectly flawed love interests that inspire her writing.

"Weak in the Knees," one of five acoustic offerings, is the most radio-friendly track of the bunch with a sing-a-long chorus and a slightly alt-country sound. Mid-tempo tracks like "Brand New Love," "Blown Like the Wind At Night," and the title track feature delicate instrumentation as a backdrop for Ryder’s resolute voice. "Hiding Place" begins with a flutter of harmonica that pops up time and again on the flowing piece that whispers of heartache.

Ryder emphatically answers her male contemporaries with a collection of intensely soulful songs. And one thing’s for certain: they can’t touch that yodel. A- | Katie Cook

RIYL: Paolo Nutini, Ray LaMontagne, Schuyler Fisk

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