May 12, 2009

Album Review - Crooked Measures

Myra Flynn's first album, Crooked Measures is a stunning debut disc that showcases her fantastic voice and writing. I've covered her before on this blog, over a year ago when she started making a splash in my homestate of Vermont. In the year since then, Myra's shifted full gear towards full time music, refined her sound and has what is hopefully the start to a long and successful career.

Crooked Measures has rapidly become a favorite album of mine in the short time that I've been listening to it. Comparisons will inevitably go back to another Vermont artist, Grace Potter, of the Nocturnals, but that's not necessarily accurate in this case. Myra's music here feels intensely personal, close to the heart, which helps to make this album so good. It feels geninue, right from the start with Just Because and Bones. While I love the music of the Nocturnals, they seem to have a slightly different approach to songwriting, something more open, and dare I say, a bit more commercial. While I'm not about to use that to take away credit from them, Flynn's first album feels very much like an album that she wanted, and was completely free to make.

Myra seems to have dropped some of the more overt soul feel from some of the earlier demos that I've heard through her myspace page, in favor of a somewhat more country-folk, soul/pop and indie mix, which gives the album a good variety of sound. There's some songs that feel a bit more energetic, such as Sunshine, Small Talk, Miss Independance, and Fragile, to more thoughtful, such as Where Do You Go, Just Because, Bones, and So It Goes. The last track of the album, Freedom, breaks the mold a bit by transitioning in and out of a sort of beat or spoken word poem.

Fellow Vermont singer Anais Mitchell shows up for a duet with Myra for the song Miss Independance, which is a welcome surprise, and further helps to reveal a growing talent pool of musicians within the state, along with The Nocturnals and Gregory Douglass. These four musicians seem to fall within the same sort of genre and feel for their songs, and I'm eager to see what will be coming in the future within the state. Myra is one of the rising stars, with a fantastic start with Crooked Measures. I look forward to seeing her live and in person in the near future as she goes on tour this summer.

Crooked Measures will be released June 20th during a performance in Burlington Vermont's Flynn Space, the first of two release parties for the album. The second will be a week later, June 27th at the Black Door in Montpelier Vermont.

Bones - Myra Flynn